Definition of caterpillar in English:
- Flying to several sites to deposit eggs is a strategy used by all moths and butterflies whose caterpillars must hide from predators.
- Yet Crawley cautions that the crops his team examined had been engineered to resist herbicides, moth and butterfly caterpillars, and perhaps those qualities didn't matter much in the wild.
- The children compared one state of growth to another as the larvae became caterpillars, then butterflies.
- For much of the year, most birds feed primarily on insects - everything from caterpillars to mosquitoes, aphids, and mites.
- There are more caterpillars and other insects, which are important foods for several types of birds living in the forest understory, in thinned stands that encourage more hardwood shrubs.
- Children collect termite, snails, and the caterpillars of several insects.
- The first ‘tank’ to have any form of caterpillar track was a vehicle designed by Lieutenant W Wilson and William Tritton called ‘Little Willie’.
- He developed caterpillar tracks that replaced wheels on combine harvesters.
- This is a yellow JCB vehicle on two large caterpillar tracks with a cab that can rotate all the way around, and a big scoop on an articulated arm at the front.
- Mr Hall said: ‘He was knocked to the ground and the caterpillar wheels went over him and completely mashed his leg.’
- A cohort of caterpillars bands together to travel in a long column, looking to all the world like the dangerous body of a single, large snake.
- Inside is rosewood luxury, downstairs bunks and beds, and under them, two six hundred horsepower caterpillars capable of pushing them across the sea at thirty-five knots.
Late Middle English: perhaps from a variant of Old French chatepelose, literally 'hairy cat', influenced by obsolete piller 'ravager'. The association with ‘cat’ is found in other languages, e.g. Swiss German Teufelskatz (literally 'devil's cat'), Lombard gatta (literally 'cat'). Compare with French chaton, English catkin, which resembles a hairy caterpillar.
The caterpillar first appeared in English in the form catyrpel, probably an alteration of the Old French word chatepelose, literally ‘hairy cat’. English used to have a word piller, meaning ‘a plunderer or ravager’ (related to pillage) and, given the damage that caterpillars do to plants, it is likely that this influenced how the word is spelt.
- US English dictionary
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