springtail

play
noun spring·tail \ˈspriŋ-ˌtāl\

Definition of springtail

  1. :  any of an order (Collembola) of small primitive wingless arthropods that are either classified as insects or are placed in a related class (Entognatha), that have internal mouthparts enclosed in folds of the head, usually possess a furcula used for jumping, exhibit incomplete metamorphosis, feed especially on fungi and decaying vegetation, and are typically found in moist or wet surroundings (such as soil, on the surface of water or melting snow, or in caves) —called also collembolan

Recent Examples of springtail from the Web

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

First Known Use of springtail

circa 1797


Learn More about springtail


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to become worse as time passes

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Emoji Quiz

  • emoji-the-quiz
  • What phase of the moon is this: 🌖 ?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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