water beetle


: any of numerous oval flattened aquatic beetles (such as a diving beetle or whirligig beetle) that swim by means of their fringed hind legs which act together as oars

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web After witnessing his water beetle-tadpole smackdown, Dr. Valdez, too, had written it up as a note. Cara Giaimo, New York Times, 10 Aug. 2020 While that mind-set isn’t ironclad — the giant water beetle pheromone used on the raw oysters ($8 for two) is the real thing imported from Thailand — it’s given form to some unforgettable dishes. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, 14 Nov. 2019 Like all insects, this edible water beetle contains significant amounts of fiber due to the chitin from their outer skeleton. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 25 Oct. 2019 Spangler named the insect brychius hungerfordi, Hungerford's crawling water beetle, for his instructor at the biological station, entomologist Herbert B. Hungerford. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, 16 July 2019 Inside is a siren over a foot long, surrounded by a carpet of flopping tadpoles and water beetles. Asher Elbein, Washington Post, 18 June 2019

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

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1668, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of water beetle was circa 1668

Dictionary Entries Near water beetle

Cite this Entry

“Water beetle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/water%20beetle. Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

water beetle


: any of numerous oval flattened beetles (as a whirligig beetle) that are found in water and swim by means of their fringed hind legs which act together as oars

More from Merriam-Webster on water beetle

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.