- 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
As if from some horror movie, cicada nymphs have been described as “boiling out of the ground.”The Cicadas are Coming!
May 2, 2013
The creature most commonly called a locust is a cicada, or harvest fly.
The cicada, it will be remembered, is what is commonly called a locust.
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
Only in the trees is heard at intervals the whir of the cicada.The Western World
- 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
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
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