spit·​tle·​bug | \ ˈspi-tᵊl-ˌbəg How to pronounce spittlebug (audio) \

Definition of spittlebug

: any of a family (Cercopidae) of leaping homopterous insects whose nymphal larvae produce a frothy secretion

called also froghopper

Examples of spittlebug in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Winters have been cold enough to weaken the trees, but not cold enough to kill the spittlebug populations. The Economist, "The threat to the southern European olive," 21 Sep. 2019 Its spread prompted the EU to require Italy to create a buffer zone—with susceptible trees destroyed and spittlebug-friendly grasses cut—but implementation has been slow. The Economist, "The threat to the southern European olive," 21 Sep. 2019 For the next 15 years, Baumann, Moran, and their colleagues used similar DNA analyses to document equally long-term relationships between bacteria and white flies, spittlebugs, cicadas, leafhoppers, and psyllids. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "A love of insects and their microbial partners helped this biologist reveal secrets of symbiosis," 14 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spittlebug.' 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 spittlebug

1882, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for spittlebug

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The first known use of spittlebug was in 1882

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Cite this Entry

“Spittlebug.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spittlebug. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on spittlebug

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spittlebug

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