any animal of the class Insecta, comprising small, air-breathing arthropods having the body divided into three parts (head, thorax, and abdomen), and having three pairs of legs and usually two pairs of wings.
any small arthropod, such as a spider, tick, or centipede, having a superficial, general similarity to the insects.: Compare arachnid.
a contemptible or unimportant person.
of, pertaining to, like, or used for or against insects: an insect bite; insect powder.
- in·sec·ti·val [in-sek-tahy-vuhl], /ˌɪn sɛkˈtaɪ vəl/, adjective
- non·in·sect, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use insect in a sentence
The findings could illustrate for the first time that, when targeted with pesticides, changes to the physical traits of “pest” species can occur in bigger animals, not just insects and rodents.Culling dingoes with poison may be making them bigger | Jake Buehler | August 19, 2020 | Science News
After a few weeks, that larval insect wraps itself in a jade green covering.Pesticides contaminate most food of western U.S. monarchs | Rebecca E. Hirsch | August 17, 2020 | Science News For Students
Prior to this new find, the oldest plant bedding — mainly consisting of sedge leaves, ash and aromatic plants likely used to keep insects away — dated to around 77,000 years ago at South Africa’s Sibudu rock-shelter.The oldest known grass beds from 200,000 years ago included insect repellents | Bruce Bower | August 13, 2020 | Science News
Chemical communication among insects isn’t always monosyllabic, with a single compound changing a behavior wholesale.A single molecule may entice normally solitary locusts to form massive swarms | Jonathan Lambert | August 12, 2020 | Science News
Miyako and Yang say their bubble solution was biocompatible, but Potts worries that dousing flowers in human-made substances could dissuade insects from visiting those trees.Bubble-blowing drones may one day aid artificial pollination | Maria Temming | June 22, 2020 | Science News
Bats are crucial to the ecosystem, performing extremely valuable jobs like pollination and insect control.
Their nightly flights bring with them the powers to pollinate plants and control insect populations.
When you crush an insect, you have all these long worms uncoiling from the belly.Vampires without Glitter or Girl Problems: Inside Guillermo del Toro’s ‘The Strain’ | Andrew Romano | July 14, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
One of these heroes is an insect-loving contemporary of Charles Darwin, the other a crocodile-wrestling Steve Irwin acolyte.
On the heels of a U.N. report urging more insect consumption, Nina Strochlic rounds up the yummiest.Cicadas, Grasshoppers, Locusts, Ants Among the Tastiest Insects | Nina Strochlic | May 14, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
To the animal whose special finger enables him to catch the insect?God and my Neighbour | Robert Blatchford
In my house there has never been sufficient food for a solid meal, and I have not land enough even for an insect to rest upon.Our Little Korean Cousin | H. Lee M. Pike
The heat of the water destroys the insect and instantly removes the pain of the bite.The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; | Various
This insect is much less in size than the former, and is more convex.
There is a wretched figure of this insect given in the fourth volume of Cuvier's Regne Animal.
British Dictionary definitions for insect
any small air-breathing arthropod of the class Insecta, having a body divided into head, thorax, and abdomen, three pairs of legs, and (in most species) two pairs of wings. Insects comprise about five sixths of all known animal species, with a total of over one million named species: Related adjective: entomic
(loosely) any similar invertebrate, such as a spider, tick, or centipede
a contemptible, loathsome, or insignificant person
- insectean, insectan or insectile, adjective
- insect-like, adjective
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 insect
Any of very numerous, mostly small arthropods of the class Insecta, having six segmented legs in the adult stage and a body divided into three parts (the head, thorax, and abdomen). The head has a pair of antennae and the thorax usually has one or two pairs of wings. Most insects undergo substantial change in form during development from the young to the adult stage. More than 800,000 species are known, most of them beetles. Other insects include flies, bees, ants, grasshoppers, butterflies, cockroaches, aphids, and silverfish. See Notes at biomass bug entomology.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.