Definition of defoliator in English:


Line breaks: de|foli|ator
Pronunciation: /diːˈfəʊlɪeɪtə


  • 1An adult or larval insect which strips all the leaves from a tree or shrub.
    More example sentences
    • Insecticides kill insect defoliators and vectors of deadly human diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, plague, and typhus.
    • The caterpillars of the gypsy moth are destructive defoliators that feed primarily on oak trees causing growth loss, crown dieback, and tree mortality.
    • The spruce budworm is a major insect defoliator of forests in northeastern North America, with balsam fir and white spruce figuring as the most vulnerable species.
  • 2A machine that removes the leaves from a root crop.
    More example sentences
    • Another invention at Hughs's lab, a two-row prototype thermal defoliator, offers hot air as an alternative to chemicals for removing cotton leaves before harvest.

More definitions of defoliator

Definition of defoliator in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
a powerful whirlpool in the sea