wood louse


Definition of wood louse

: a terrestrial isopod crustacean (suborder Oniscoidea) with a flattened elliptical body often capable of being rolled into a ball

called also pill bug, sow bug

Examples of wood louse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Widder thinks the fish were searching for giant isopods—ocean crustaceans that look something like a massive terrestrial wood louse (more commonly known as pillbugs or rolly pollies). Ferris Jabr, Scientific American, 5 Aug. 2010 In the case of one particular 429-million-year-old trilobite—an extinct arthropod that looked like a big version of a wood louse—a crack in just the right place has allowed paleontologists to see the world through the creature’s eyes. Riley Black, Scientific American, 13 Aug. 2020

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

First Known Use of wood louse

1611, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of wood louse was in 1611

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Cite this Entry

“Wood louse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wood%20louse. Accessed 4 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for wood louse

wood louse


English Language Learners Definition of wood louse

: a small, gray insect that lives under stones and in other dark, wet places

wood louse


Kids Definition of wood louse

: a tiny flat gray animal that is a crustacean usually found living under stones or bark


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