pupa

noun

pu·​pa ˈpyü-pə How to pronounce pupa (audio)
plural pupae ˈpyü-(ˌ)pē How to pronounce pupa (audio)
 also  -ˌpī
or pupas
: an intermediate usually quiescent stage of a metamorphic insect (such as a bee, moth, or beetle) that occurs between the larva and the imago, is usually enclosed in a cocoon or protective covering, and undergoes internal changes by which larval structures are replaced by those typical of the imago
pupal adjective

Examples of pupa in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Periodic low-level fires spare the trees but kill a portion of the pests’ pupae buried in leaf litter and soil, preventing them from ruining the following year’s crop. Ferris Jabr, The Atlantic, 25 June 2024 These moth pupae overwinter in the soil, so tilling or aerating the soil with a garden fork prior to planting can help to expose them to predators (birds will appreciate the snack). Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 13 June 2024 Some of the bones also had evidence of blowfly pupae, meaning the bones would have been defleshed before they were put in the ground as opposed to the entire body of the mammoth being left, according to the study. Irene Wright, Miami Herald, 12 June 2024 Larvae then transform into pupae, which swim to the surface and emerge as adult midges ready to mate. Claire Reid, Journal Sentinel, 25 Apr. 2024 After the larva stage, fireflies have a short stage as a pupa before emerging as adults. Aliza Chasan, CBS News, 7 June 2024 Larvae hatch from the eggs, eat and grow, then turn into pupae. Aspen Pflughoeft, Miami Herald, 6 June 2024 The black dots are larval tracks pushing into an oak, while the white object is a pupa preparing to become an adult. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 28 May 2024 Inside this cocoon, the pupa transforms into an adult crane fly. The Arizona Republic, 12 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pupa.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from Latin pupa doll

First Known Use

1770, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pupa was in 1770

Dictionary Entries Near pupa

Cite this Entry

“Pupa.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pupa. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

pupa

noun
pu·​pa ˈpyü-pə How to pronounce pupa (audio)
plural pupae -pē How to pronounce pupa (audio)
-ˌpī
or pupas
: a stage of an insect (as a bee, moth, or beetle) having complete metamorphosis that occurs between the larva and the adult, is usually enclosed in a cocoon or case, and goes through changes inside by which structures of the larva are replaced by those of the adult
pupal adjective

Medical Definition

pupa

noun
pu·​pa ˈpyü-pə How to pronounce pupa (audio)
plural pupae -(ˌ)pē How to pronounce pupa (audio) -ˌpī How to pronounce pupa (audio) or pupas
: an intermediate usually quiescent stage of an insect that occurs between the larva and the imago in forms (as a bee, moth, or beetle) which undergo complete metamorphosis and that is characterized by internal changes by which larval structures are replaced by those typical of the imago
pupal adjective
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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