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 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, "A 429-Million-Year-Old Trilobite Had Eyes like Those of Modern Bees," 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wood louse

Time Traveler for wood louse

Time Traveler

The first known use of wood louse was in 1611

See more words from the same year

Statistics for wood louse

Cite this Entry

“Wood louse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wood%20louse. Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on wood louse

What made you want to look up wood louse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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