Definition of cockchafer in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkäkˌCHāfər/


A large brown European beetle that flies at dusk and often crashes into lighted windows. The adults are damaging to foliage and flowers, and the larvae are a pest of cereal and grass roots.
  • Melolontha melolontha, family Scarabaeidae.
Example sentences
  • What a pleasant change from the labourer's unvarying meal of bread, lard, and bacon would be a good dish of fried cockchafers or grasshoppers!
  • At peak abundance, cockchafers reached densities of more than 50 individuals per meter of twig on some fruit trees and on shrubs.


Early 18th century: from cock1 (expressing size or vigor) + chafer.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cock·chaf·er

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