saw·​fly | \ˈsȯ-ˌflī \

Definition of sawfly 

: any of numerous hymenopterous insects (superfamily Tenthredinoidea and especially family Tenthredinidae) with the female usually having a sawlike ovipositor and with the larva resembling a plant-feeding caterpillar

Examples of sawfly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Some gooseberry sawflies can go through four generations during a summer. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Here’s what’s eating your currant bushes and ‘spitting’ on your wild roses," 13 July 2018 The problem in asking me is that there are all manner of reasons why a spruce tree would have needles turn brown, from sawflies and budworms to fungi, viruses, mites and bad weather. Jeff Lowenfels, Alaska Dispatch News, "Spruce trees turning brown? Here’s what might be going wrong," 22 Sep. 2017 National Geographic grantee Aaron Pomerantz, an entomologist, said in his original tweet showing the sawflies. National Geographic, "These Small Animals Wiggle As One—Here's Why," 14 Sep. 2017 The wormlike larvae of the larch sawfly stripped almost all the adult trees of their needles in the mid to late 1990s. Ned Rozell, Alaska Dispatch News, "A walk along Alaska’s oil pipeline reveals a changed landscape," 24 June 2017

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

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First Known Use of sawfly

1773, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near sawfly

saw fern

saw file



saw gate

saw gin

saw grass

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Time Traveler for sawfly

The first known use of sawfly was in 1773

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to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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