Insect In"sect ([i^]n"s[e^]kt), n. [F. insecte, L. insectum, fr. insectus, p. p. of insecare to cut in. See {Section}. The name was originally given to certain small animals, whose bodies appear cut in, or almost divided. Cf. {Entomology}.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) One of the Insecta; esp., one of the Hexapoda. See {Insecta}. [1913 Webster]

Note: The hexapod insects pass through three stages during their growth, viz., the larva, pupa, and imago or adult, but in some of the orders the larva differs little from the imago, except in lacking wings, and the active pupa is very much like the larva, except in having rudiments of wings. In the higher orders, the larva is usually a grub, maggot, or caterpillar, totally unlike the adult, while the pupa is very different from both larva and imago and is inactive, taking no food. [1913 Webster]

2. (Zo["o]l.) Any air-breathing arthropod, as a spider or scorpion. [1913 Webster]

3. (Zo["o]l.) Any small crustacean. In a wider sense, the word is often loosely applied to various small invertebrates. [1913 Webster]

4. Fig.: Any small, trivial, or contemptible person or thing. --Thomson. [1913 Webster]

{Insect powder},a powder used for the extermination of insects; esp., the powdered flowers of certain species of {Pyrethrum}, a genus now merged in {Chrysanthemum}. Called also {Persian powder}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Insect — In sect, a. 1. Of or pertaining to an insect or insects. [1913 Webster] 2. Like an insect; small; mean; ephemeral. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • insect — (n.) c.1600, from L. (animal) insectum (animal) with a notched or divided body, lit. cut into, from neuter pp. of insectare to cut into, to cut up, from in into (see IN (Cf. in ) (2)) + secare to cut (see SECTION (Cf. section)). Pliny s loan… …   Etymology dictionary

  • insect — [n] bug ant, aphid, bedbug, bee, beetle, bumblebee, butterfly, cockroach, cootie, daddy longlegs, dragonfly, flea, fly, fruit fly, gnat, grasshopper, hornet, ladybug, louse, mite, mosquito, moth, pest, praying mantis, termite, tick, vermin,… …   New thesaurus

  • insect — ► NOUN ▪ a small invertebrate animal with a head, thorax, and abdomen, six legs, two antennae, and usually one or two pairs of wings. ORIGIN from Latin animal insectum segmented animal , from insecare cut up or into …   English terms dictionary

  • insect — [in′sekt΄] n. [< L insectum (animale), lit., notched (animal), neut. of pp. of insecare, to cut into < in , in + secare, to cut (see SAW2): from the segmented bodies: cf. ENTOMO ] 1. any of a large class (Insecta) of small arthropod animals …   English World dictionary

  • Insect — For the Breed 77 album, see Insects (album). Insect Temporal range: 396–0 Ma …   Wikipedia

  • insect — insectival /in sek tuy veuhl/, adj. /in sekt/, n. 1. any animal of the class Insecta, comprising small, air breathing arthropods having the body divided into three parts (head, thorax, and abdomen), and having three pairs of legs and usually two… …   Universalium

  • insect — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ flying, winged ▪ aquatic ▪ beneficial ▪ Unfortunately, pesticides kill off beneficial insects as well as harmful ones. ▪ harmful …   Collocations dictionary

  • insect — noun a) An arthropod in the class Insecta, characterized by six legs, up to four wings, and a chitinous exoskeleton. Our shed has several insect infestions, including ants, yellowjackets, and wasps. b) Any small arthropod similar to an insect… …   Wiktionary

  • insect — in•sect [[t]ˈɪn sɛkt[/t]] n. 1) ent any animal of the class Insecta, comprising small, air breathing arthropods having the body divided into three parts (head, thorax, and abdomen), and having two antennae, three pairs of legs, and usu. two pairs …   From formal English to slang

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