[ lep-i-dop-ter-uh n ]
/ ˌlɛp ɪˈdɒp tər ən /



a lepidopterous insect.

Origin of lepidopteran

First recorded in 1850–55; Lepidopter(a) + -an
Related formsnon·lep·i·dop·ter·an, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for lepidopteran


/ (ˌlɛpɪˈdɒptərən) /

noun Also: lepidopteron plural -terans or -tera (-tərə)

any of numerous insects of the order Lepidoptera, typically having two pairs of wings covered with fragile scales, mouthparts specialized as a suctorial proboscis, and caterpillars as larvae: comprises the butterflies and moths

adjective Also: lepidopterous

of, relating to, or belonging to the order Lepidoptera

Word Origin for lepidopteran

C19: from New Latin lepidoptera, from lepido- + Greek 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

Science definitions for lepidopteran


[ lĕp′ĭ-dŏptər-ən ]

Any of various insects of the order Lepidoptera, characterized by four large, flat, membranous wings covered with small scales. The larvae of lepidopterans are caterpillars. Lepidopterans include butterflies, moths, and skippers.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.