Definition of maggot in English:


Line breaks: mag¦got
Pronunciation: /ˈmagət


  • 1A soft-bodied legless larva of a fly or other insect, found in decaying matter: the maggots attack the roots of the developing cabbages
    More example sentences
    • These greenish larvae are typical fly maggots in appearance; legless, broadest at the tail end and tapering to a point at the head, with hook-like mouthparts.
    • This year flea beetles, white grubs, seed corn maggots and wireworms generated a lot of discussion.
    • Flea beetles and root maggots, the two major radish pests, can be avoided by placing floating row cover over the bed.
    grub, larva; caterpillar
  • 2 archaic A whimsical or strange idea.
    More example sentences
    • "You know, Ruth," he said, "I don't wish to say anything against Isaac, and I don't want to make you uneasy, but you know as well as I do that he has a strange maggot in his brain.
    • There's a strange maggot hath got into their brains, which possesseth them with a kind of vertigo, and it reigns in the pulpit more than anywhere else, for some of our preachmen are grown dog mad, there's a worm got into their tongues as well as their heads.


act the maggot

Irish informal Behave in a foolishly playful way: we’d all walk in a line behind him, acting the maggot, you know, imitating him
More example sentences
  • Mud, rain, music, people acting the maggot - in fact there was only one thing missing from this year's festival, sadly - the late great John Peel.
  • Are you going to act the maggot, and get yourself in trouble?
  • If you want to ‘act the maggot’ in Castlebar you are going to end up in court.


late Middle English: perhaps an alteration of dialect maddock, from Old Norse mathkr, of Germanic origin.

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Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
a powerful whirlpool in the sea

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