[ el-i-tron ]
/ ˈɛl ɪˌtrɒn /

noun, plural el·y·tra [el-i-truh] /ˈɛl ɪ trə/.

one of the pair of hardened forewings of certain insects, as beetles, forming a protective covering for the posterior or flight wings.

Origin of elytron

1745–55; < New Latin < Greek élytron a covering
Also called wing case, wing cover.

Related forms

el·y·trous [el-i-truh s] /ˈɛl ɪ trəs/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for elytron


elytrum (ˈɛlɪtrəm)

/ (ˈɛlɪˌtrɒn) /

noun plural -tra (-trə)

either of the horny front wings of beetles and some other insects, which cover and protect the hind wings

Derived Forms

elytroid or elytrous, adjective

Word Origin for elytron

C18: from Greek elutron sheath, covering
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

Science definitions for elytron


[ ĕlĭ-trŏn′ ]

Plural elytra

Either of the modified forewings of a beetle or related insect that encase the thin hind wings used in flight.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.