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[si-key-duh, -kah-] /sɪˈkeɪ də, -ˈkɑ-/
noun, plural cicadas, cicadae
[si-key-dee, -kah-] /sɪˈkeɪ di, -ˈkɑ-/ (Show IPA)
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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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
  • It is not improbable that the sting was made by a wasp (Stizus) which preys on the cicada.

    Our Common Insects Alpheus Spring Packard
  • It is a specimen of game which I have just introduced, a cicada, a luscious morsel.

  • There are few other sounds, for it is winter, and the tree-frog and cicada are silent.

    The Scalp Hunters Mayne Reid
  • And that very day she declared war on the cicada and his kind.

    Woodland Tales Ernest Seton-Thompson
British Dictionary definitions for cicada


noun (pl) -das, -dae (-diː), -las, -le (-leɪ)
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
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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
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