Definition of ichneumon in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ɪkˈnjuːmən/


1 (also ichneumon wasp or ichneumon fly) A slender parasitic wasp with long antennae, which deposits its eggs in, on, or near the larvae of other insects.
  • Family Ichneumonidae, order Hymenoptera: numerous genera and species.
Example sentences
  • For him, the fiend that shook his faith was the ichneumon wasp, which lays its eggs inside the larvae of the horntail wasp.
  • They belong to the order Hymenoptera, which includes bees, wasps, sawflies, and ichneumons.
  • The Persians did not worship wood and stone with the Greeks, nor the ibis and ichneumon with the Egyptians.
2 another term for Egyptian mongoose.
Example sentences
  • They also are in competition for food with the swamp ichneumon, which preys on crabs.
  • There are also jackals, wolves, the ichneumon and, possibly, a polecat.


Late 15th century (in sense 2): via Latin from Greek ikhneumōn 'tracker', from ikhneuein 'to track', from ikhnos 'track, footstep'.

Words that rhyme with ichneumon

crewman, crewmen, energumen, human, Newman, numen, Schumann, subhuman, Trueman

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ich¦neu|mon

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.