- A small elongated insect with a pair of terminal appendages that resemble pincers. The females typically care for their eggs and young until they are grown.
More example sentences
- Order Dermaptera: several families
- He published papers illustrating discontinuous variation in floral symmetry and in terminal forceps of earwigs and the hornlike processes seen in certain male beetles.
- Even earwigs can be useful because they eat aphids, codling moth eggs and the red spider mite.
- These stories have little basis in fact, although earwigs have been known to cause a mildly painful bite when sat upon or handled.
verb (earwigs, earwigging, earwigged)[no object] • informal , chiefly British Back to top
- 1Eavesdrop on a conversation: he looked behind him to see if anyone was earwiggingMore example sentences
- After the conference speeches are over, I drift around the hotel bars earwigging on conversations.
- Like most writers, Dewar is a good listener, earwigging on other's conversations.
- I earwigged into a conversation with her last season and she told me what a beautiful horse it was.
Old English ēarwicga, from ēare 'ear' + wicga 'earwig' (probably related to wiggle). The insect is so named because it was once thought to crawl into the human ear.
More definitions of earwigDefinition of earwig in:
- The British & World English dictionary