plural thrips
: any of an order (Thysanoptera) of small to minute sucking insects many of which feed often destructively on plant juices

Examples of thrips in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Stressed plants can be infested by soft green aphids, thin and dark flower thrips, or tiny spider mites. Rebecca Bull Reed, Southern Living, 10 June 2024 Ann is relatively pest resistant but can have problems with scale, weevils, thrips, and snails. Steve Bender, Southern Living, 7 May 2024 Pests and Problems Aphids are the most common insect gardeners encounter on Easter lilies, although spider mites, thrips, and scale are occasional visitors. Derek Carwood, Better Homes & Gardens, 18 Mar. 2024 The culprits here are sucking insects such as leaf hoppers, aphids, thrips, chilli thrips, leaf miners or spider mites. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Mar. 2024 Oh, and that isn’t counting the unknown numbers of teensy mites, aphids and thrips. Wire Service, The Mercury News, 29 Jan. 2024 Another telltale sign of thrips presence is the gift of frass specks glued to the leaf; frass is the term for insect excrement. Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 1 Feb. 2024 Without their natural outdoor predators, tinier creatures like aphids, thrips and spider mites can become very difficult to control if not managed aggressively, said Hannah Burrack, an ecologist who specializes in pest management at Michigan State University. Melina Walling, Fortune, 18 Sep. 2023 Hot days and dry winds are prime weather conditions for chilli thrips. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Sep. 2023

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

Word History


Latin, woodworm, from Greek

First Known Use

1795, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of thrips was in 1795

Dictionary Entries Near thrips

Cite this Entry

“Thrips.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

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