Definition of ichneumon in English:


Syllabification: ich·neu·mon
Pronunciation: /ikˈn(y)o͞omən


  • 1 (also ichneumon wasp or ichneumon fly) A slender parasitic wasp with long antennae that deposits its eggs in, on, or near the larvae of other insects.
    • Family Ichneumonidae, order Hymenoptera: numerous genera and species
    More 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.
    More 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 (sense 2): via Latin from Greek ikhneumōn 'tracker', from ikhneuein 'to track', from ikhnos 'track, footstep'.

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elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody