Definition of locust in English:

locust

Syllabification: lo·cust
Pronunciation: /ˈlōkəst
 
/

noun

1A large and mainly tropical grasshopper with strong powers of flight. It is usually solitary, but from time to time there is a population explosion, and it migrates in vast swarms that cause extensive damage to crops.
  • Several species in the family Acrididae, including the migratory locust (Locusta migratoria), which is sometimes seen in Europe
More example sentences
  • Vast swarms of locusts have swept over South Sulawesi in the past few days, destroying rice and secondary crops.
  • Swarms of locusts damaged crops and pastures across the state during the autumn.
  • Insects such as the red locust, crickets, grasshoppers, and flying ants are collected in season and either fried with salt to make popular snacks or dried for later use.
1.1 (also seventeen-year locust) US The periodical cicada.
More example sentences
  • We get confused because both cicadas and locust emerge periodically.
  • These are known as periodical cicadas but are also commonly called 17-year cicadas, 13-year cicadas, or locusts.
2 (also locust bean) The large edible pod of some plants of the pea family, in particular the carob bean, which is said to resemble a locust.
More example sentences
  • Others, like gum guar (obtained from the cluster bean), or locust bean gum (from the locust bean), come from seedpods.
  • I learn that one ice cream ingredient, locust bean gum, was used in ancient Egypt to seal the wrappings on mummies.
  • In cream cheese, xanthan gum interacts synergistically with guar and locust bean gum, notes Sebree.
3 (also locust tree) Any of a number of pod-bearing trees of the pea family, in particular the carob tree and the black locust.
More example sentences
  • We look up at the sky through a fringe of leaves belonging to a locust tree or a mimosa, the rows of lacy leaves forming a mantilla overhead.
  • Kaya and I were taking a walk to the pond this morning when along the roadside I noticed a locust tree that still had some long felty pods hanging from it.
  • Except for the existing locust tree, the two sides of the yard are symmetrical.

Origin

Middle English: via Old French locuste from Latin locusta 'locust, crustacean'.

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