Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The saddest words

locust

[loh-kuh st] /ˈloʊ kəst/
noun
1.
Also called acridid, short-horned grasshopper. any of several grasshoppers of the family Acrididae, having short antennae and commonly migrating in swarms that strip the vegetation from large areas.
2.
any of various cicadas, as the seventeen-year locust.
3.
any of several North American trees belonging to the genus Robinia, of the legume family, especially R. pseudoacacia, having pinnate leaves and clusters of fragrant white flowers.
4.
the durable wood of this tree.
5.
any of various other trees, as the carob and the honey locust.
Origin of locust
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English < Latin locusta grasshopper
Related forms
locustlike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for locust
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I put out my hand and caught a grasshopper, or rather a sort of locust.

    Dick Onslow W.H.G. Kingston
  • Leaper the locust cried, while Kiddie Katydid echoed the word.

    The Tale of Kiddie Katydid Arthur Scott Bailey
  • In the light of the present, the past seemed futile—years that the locust had eaten.

    The Hermit of Far End Margaret Pedler
  • Ben Gile tossed the locust into the air and called out, "Shoo!"

    Little Busybodies Jeanette Augustus Marks and Julia Moody
  • Afterward when she and her mother and "Papa Jack" went to live with him at locust, one of her favorite games was playing soldier.

  • She did not go back to locust the next day, nor for weeks after that.

    The Little Colonel Annie Fellows Johnston
  • We had seen them once before, in Priononyx atrata just before she carried a locust into her nest.

    Wasps George W. Peckham
  • Wiggle appeared to claim the locust as a souvenir of the scout's magic.

    Pee-wee Harris Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • The pleasing effect of the design at Seventh and locust streets is largely due to appropriate use of the evolute spiral band.

British Dictionary definitions for locust

locust

/ˈləʊkəst/
noun
1.
any of numerous orthopterous insects of the genera Locusta, Melanoplus, etc, such as L. migratoria, of warm and tropical regions of the Old World, which travel in vast swarms, stripping large areas of vegetation See also grasshopper (sense 1) Compare seventeen-year locust
2.
Also called locust tree, false acacia. a North American leguminous tree, Robinia pseudoacacia, having prickly branches, hanging clusters of white fragrant flowers, and reddish-brown seed pods
3.
the yellowish durable wood of this tree
4.
any of several similar trees, such as the honey locust and carob
Derived Forms
locust-like, adjective
Word Origin
C13 (the insect): from Latin locusta locust; applied to the tree (C17) because the pods resemble locusts
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for locust
n.

"grasshopper," early 14c., borrowed earlier in Old French form languste (c.1200), from Latin locusta "locust, lobster" (see lobster).

In the Hebrew Bible there are nine different names for the insect or for particular species or varieties; in the English Bible they are rendered sometimes 'locust,' sometimes 'beetle,' 'grasshopper,' 'caterpillar,' 'palmerworm,' etc. The precise application of several names is unknown. [OED]

North American tree, 1630s, originally "carob tree" (1610s), whose fruit supposedly resembled the insect (see locust (n.1)). Greek akris "locust" often was applied in the Levant to carob pods. Soon applied in English to other trees as well.

n.2

North American tree, 1630s, originally "carob tree" (1610s), whose fruit supposedly resembled the insect (see locust (n.1)). Greek akris "locust" often was applied in the Levant to carob pods. Soon applied in English to other trees as well.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for locust

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for locust

8
11
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for locust