Definition of insect in English:

insect

Line breaks: in¦sect
Pronunciation: /ˈɪnsɛkt
 
/

noun

1A small arthropod animal that has six legs and generally one or two pairs of wings: [as modifier]: insect pests
More example sentences
  • Voices that would seem possible only from the throat of a bird in fact arise from the wings of an insect.
  • It was an unusual insect, with coloured wings that faded from red to yellow.
  • This insect is among the most damaging arthropod pests of pears in North America and Europe.
1.1 informal Any small invertebrate animal such as a spider or tick.
More example sentences
  • This group includes all the insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, also spiders and centipedes.
  • For a web to be effective, it needs to be built so that an insect doesn't snap the web or bounce out of it.

Insects are usually placed in the class Insecta (see also Hexapoda). The body of a typical adult insect is divided into head, thorax (bearing the legs and wings), and abdomen. The class includes many familiar forms, such as flies, bees, wasps, moths, beetles, grasshoppers, and cockroaches. Insects are the most numerous animals in both numbers of individuals and of different kinds, with more than a million species in all habitats except the sea, and they are of enormous economic importance as pests and carriers of disease, and also as pollinators

Origin

early 17th century (originally denoting any small cold-blooded creature with a segmented body): from Latin (animal) insectum 'segmented (animal)' (translating Greek zōion entomon), from insecare 'cut up or into', from in- 'into' + secare 'to cut'.

Definition of insect in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day abjure
Pronunciation: abˈjo͝or
verb
solemnly renounce (a belief, cause, or claim)