wee·​vil | \ˈwē-vəl \

Definition of weevil 

: any of a superfamily (Curculionoidea) of beetles which have the head prolonged into a more or less distinct snout and which include many that are destructive especially as larvae to nuts, fruit, and grain or to living plants especially : any of a family (Curculionidae) having a well-developed snout curved downward with the jaws at the tip and clubbed usually elbowed antennae

Illustration of weevil

Illustration of weevil

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Other Words from weevil

weevily or weevilly \ ˈwēv-​lē , ˈwē-​və-​lē \ adjective

Examples of weevil in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

These types of nematodes are effective against a variety of pest species including weevils, clearwing borers, cutworms, sod webworms, chinch bugs, and white grubs. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "What Are Nematodes? Are They Friendly Worms? Or Deadly Parasites?," 1 Mar. 2017 A year later, another research team concluded that the DNA sequence supposedly obtained from the weevil came from fungal contamination. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "Jurassic Park’s Unlikely Symbiosis With Real-World Science," 15 June 2018 Pea weevils can chew on foliage, especially along the edges of young leaves. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Growing Peas Has Never Been Easier Than This," 31 Mar. 2017 Since weevils multiply quickly and are hard to eliminate, use certified disease-resistant slips and practice a 4-year crop rotation. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Perfect Sweet Potatoes In Your Backyard," 15 Mar. 2017 More than 20 weevils were also found inside the masa container. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "Oak Park Brewing Co. closes after cockroaches, mice, weevils found in kitchen | The Sacramento Bee," 21 May 2018 Around 130 million years ago, a weevil gorged itself on wood pulp and died a sticky death in the relentless grasp of slow-moving resin. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "Jurassic Park’s Unlikely Symbiosis With Real-World Science," 15 June 2018 But scientists at the University of Minnesota and in Switzerland are working to see if a non-native weevil can be released into the woods to eat the garlic mustard. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Battling garlic mustard: Noxious weeds get pulled from Lake County forests by teams of volunteers," 8 June 2018 The larvae of carrot weevils, found from the East Coast to Colorado, tunnel into carrot roots, especially in spring crops. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need To Know To Grow Beautiful Carrots," 30 Aug. 2017

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for weevil

Middle English wevel, from Old English wifel; akin to Old High German wibil beetle, Old English wefan to weave

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Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for weevil

The first known use of weevil was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of weevil

: a small insect that eats grains and seeds and that can ruin crops


wee·​vil | \ˈwē-vəl \

Kids Definition of weevil

: a small beetle that has a long snout and often feeds on and is harmful to plants or plant products (as nuts, fruit, and grain)

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something that serves to warn or remind

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