pu·​pate | \ ˈpyü-ˌpāt \
pupated; pupating

Definition of pupate

intransitive verb

: to become a pupa : pass through a pupal stage

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from pupate

pupation \ pyü-​ˈpā-​shən \ noun

Examples of pupate in a Sentence

Unlike most butterflies, this species pupates underground.

Recent Examples on the Web

The grubs move from deep in the soil toward the surface in the spring to eat roots, pupating in early summer. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Defend Your Garden Against Japanese Beetles," 18 June 2018 Overwintering larvae deep in the soil move toward the surface in spring to feed on roots, pupating in early summer. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Defend Your Garden Against Japanese Beetles," 26 Jan. 2018 Week 3 Big news this week: One caterpillar had attached himself by silk thread on the underside of a leaf to pupate. Larell Scardelli, Good Housekeeping, "How To Raise Monarch Butterflies—And Why You'd Want To," 8 Sep. 2017 One of them turns its caterpillar hosts into undead bodyguards that will defend pupating young wasps that just ate through its body. Christie Wilcox, Scientific American, "How a Wasp Turns Cockroaches into Zombies," 1 May 2017 Groups of the caterpillars begin to move down the trunk and look for a place to pupate in leaf litter or the ground. NOLA.com, "Ouch! 4 common stinging caterpillars in Louisiana and how to avoid them," 23 June 2017 In other cases, though, the caterpillar will have already itself begun pupating in its cocoon. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Absurd Creature of the Week: It’s Not a Jewel—It’s the World’s Most Stunning Caterpillar," 30 Oct. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pupate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of pupate

1862, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pupate

Dictionary Entries near pupate



pupa shell





Statistics for pupate

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pupate

The first known use of pupate was in 1862

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pupate



English Language Learners Definition of pupate

biology : to become a pupa

More from Merriam-Webster on pupate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pupate

Comments on pupate

What made you want to look up pupate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


very full or close together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!