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cicada

[si-key-duh, -kah-]
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noun, plural ci·ca·das, ci·ca·dae [si-key-dee, -kah-] /sɪˈkeɪ di, -ˈkɑ-/.
  1. any large homopterous insect of the family Cicadidae, the male of which produces a shrill sound by means of vibrating membranes on the underside of the abdomen.

Origin of cicada

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin cicāda
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cicada

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The creature most commonly called a locust is a cicada, or harvest fly.

    The Meaning of Evolution

    Samuel Christian Schmucker

  • The cicada, it will be remembered, is what is commonly called a locust.

    The Meaning of Evolution

    Samuel Christian Schmucker

  • I have alluded to the egg of the cicada "inserted in the bark of a twig."

    My Studio Neighbors

    William Hamilton Gibson

  • It is true, Zenothemis, that the soul is nourished on ecstasy, as the cicada is nourished on dew.

    Thais

    Anatole France

  • Only in the trees is heard at intervals the whir of the cicada.

    The Western World

    W.H.G. Kingston


British Dictionary definitions for cicada

cicada

cicala

noun plural -das, -dae (-diː), -las or -le (-leɪ)
  1. any large broad insect of the homopterous family Cicadidae, most common in warm regions. Cicadas have membranous wings and the males produce a high-pitched drone by vibration of a pair of drumlike abdominal organs

Word Origin

C19: from Latin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cicada

n.

late 14c., from Latin cicada "cicada, tree cricket," not a native Latin word; perhaps a loan-word from a lost Mediterranean language.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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