water bug


: any of various small arthropods and especially insects that frequent damp or wet places: such as
: any of various large aquatic bugs (family Belostomatidae) with the hind legs flattened and used for swimming

Examples of water bug in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His business, Urban Pest Management, handles everything from water bugs to pigeons but has recently come to specialize in rats. Adriane Quinlan, Curbed, 13 Jan. 2023 Maybe that’s why there haven’t been water bugs in the hole. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Apr. 2023 Here, a man is eating a fried water bug in Thailand. Discover Magazine, 15 Jan. 2015 What clarified my thinking: a giant, probably mutant water bug that crept across the bedroom floor. Katharine K. Zarrella, WSJ, 9 Sep. 2022 What’s more, water bug nymphs—whose life stage lasts up to 60 days—must be as tough as adults. National Geographic, 3 Apr. 2019 Water pollution can harm their populations, and alien species such as crayfish and bullfrogs can prey on water bugs. National Geographic, 3 Apr. 2019 Plus, Dana’s sister is in town which means tales of cats, water bugs and tiny steaks to follow. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, 23 May 2018 These are not the tiny water bugs who float up Alpine climbs in July. Jason Gay, WSJ, 5 Apr. 2018 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1745, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of water bug was in 1745

Dictionary Entries Near water bug

Cite this Entry

“Water bug.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/water%20bug. Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition

water bug

: any of various insects that live in or near water or in moist places
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