• synonyms


[koh-lee-op-ter-uh, kol-ee-]
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  1. the order comprising the beetles.
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Origin of Coleoptera

1755–65; < New Latin < Greek koleóptera, neuter plural of koleópteros sheath-winged, equivalent to koleo- (combining form representing koleón sheath, scabbard; see -o-) + -pteros -pterous; term used by Aristotle in describing beetles


[koh-lee-op-ter-uh n, kol-ee-]
noun, plural co·le·op·ter·a [koh-lee-op-ter-uh, kol-ee-] /ˌkoʊ liˈɒp tər ə, ˌkɒl i-/.
  1. a coleopterous insect; beetle.
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Origin of coleopteron

1755–65; < New Latin < Greek: singular of Coleoptera
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples

Word Origin and History for coleoptera


1763, from Modern Latin, from Greek koleopteros, literally "sheath-wing," used by Aristotle to describe beetles, from koleos "sheath" (see cell) + pteron "wing" (see pterodactyl). Related: Coleopterous.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper