[der-map-ter-uh n]
  1. any of numerous brown to black, small to medium-sized nocturnal insects of the order Dermaptera, widely distributed in warm, moist areas, characterized by a slender, elongated, flattened body with pincerlike appendages at the tail end of the abdomen.

Origin of dermapteran

1860–65; < New Latin Dermapter(a) (irregular < Greek dermóptera (see dermopteran), or a deliberate alteration of Dermoptera to keep the taxa distinct) + -an Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for dermapteran


  1. any insect of the order Dermaptera, the earwigs
  1. of, relating to, or belonging to this order

Word Origin for dermapteran

C19: from Greek derma (see derma 1) + pteron wing
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

dermapteran in Science


  1. Any of various insects of the order Dermaptera, having an elongated flattened body equipped with a pair of pincerlike appendages at the posterior end. Dermapterans include the earwigs.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.