[ 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.

Words nearby elytron

Origin of elytron

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


el·y·trous [el-i-truh s] /ˈɛl ɪ trəs/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for elytron

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 of elytron

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

Scientific 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.