Share this entry

pupa Syllabification: pu·pa
Pronunciation: /ˈpyo͞opə/

Definition of pupa in English:

noun (plural pupae-ˌpē-ˌpī)

An insect in its inactive immature form between larva and adult, e.g., a chrysalis.
Example sentences
  • These snakes feed on smaller prey - the larvae, pupae, and adults of ants and termites - and they do so remarkably fast.
  • In most species for which detailed dietary information is available, ant larvae and pupae represent the most important food resource.
  • The house fly has complete metamorphosis: egg, larvae, pupae and adult.


Late 18th century: modern Latin, from Latin pupa 'girl, doll'.



Pronunciation: /ˈpyo͞op(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Prior to pupal emergence, brood combs were placed in an incubator and newly emerged workers were paint-marked on the thorax.
  • Emerged adult Axarus and shed pupal exuviae were removed from the trap daily.
  • The type of pupation site selected by larvae also affects pupal survival of D. melanogaster.

Words that rhyme with pupa

blooper, cooper, Cowper, duper, grouper, Hooper, looper, pea-souper, scooper, snooper, stupa, stupor, super, trooper, trouper, whooper

Definition of pupa in:

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.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day confidant
Pronunciation: ˈkänfəˌdant
a person with whom one shares a secret...