larva

[ lahr-vuh ]
/ ˈlɑr və /

noun, plural lar·vae [lahr-vee]. /ˈlɑr vi/.

Entomology. the immature, wingless, feeding stage of an insect that undergoes complete metamorphosis.
any animal in an analogous immature form.
the young of any invertebrate animal.
larvae, Roman Antiquity. malignant ghosts, as lemures.

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Origin of larva

First recorded in 1645–55; from New Latin; special use of Latin larva “a ghost, specter, mask, skeleton”; akin to Lares

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH larva

larva , lava
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for larva

British Dictionary definitions for larva

larva
/ (ˈlɑːvə) /

noun plural -vae (-viː)

an immature free-living form of many animals that develops into a different adult form by metamorphosis

Derived forms of larva

larval, adjective

Word Origin for larva

C18: (C17 in the original Latin sense: ghost): New Latin
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

Medical definitions for larva

larva
[ lärvə ]

n. pl. lar•vas

The newly hatched, wingless, often wormlike form of many insects before metamorphosis.
The newly hatched, earliest stage of any of various animals that undergo metamorphosis, differing markedly in form and appearance from the adult.

Other words from larva

larval adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for larva

larva
[ lärvə ]

Plural larvae (lär) larvas

An animal in an early stage of development that differs greatly in appearance from its adult stage. Larvae are adapted to a different environment and way of life from those of adults and go through a process of metamorphosis in changing to adults. Tadpoles are the larvae of frogs and toads.
The immature, wingless, and usually wormlike feeding form of those insects that undergo three stages of metamorphosis, such as butterflies, moths, and beetles. Insect larvae hatch from eggs, later turn into pupae, and finally turn into adults. Compare imago nymph pupa.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.