[mag-uh t]


a soft-bodied, legless larva of certain flies.
Archaic. an odd fancy; whim.

Origin of maggot

1425–75; late Middle English magot, magat, unexplained variant of maddock, Middle English mathek < Old Norse mathkr; akin to Danish maddik maggot, Old English matha, mathu grub, maggot, Old High German mado maggot Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for maggot

grub, worm, bug, larva

Examples from the Web for maggot

Historical Examples of maggot

  • We see the acorn grow into the oak, the egg into the bird, the maggot into the butterfly.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Then he'll get a kind of maggot in the brain, and squander every sixpence he can lay hands on.

    Love and Lucy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett

  • She's got some maggot in her brain, and she wants to air it.

  • He staggered to his feet, and saw that his visitors were the two villains, Maggot and Bloodhound.

    City Crimes


  • Maggot explained how he had obtained the jewels, and then asked what they were worth.

British Dictionary definitions for maggot



the soft limbless larva of dipterous insects, esp the housefly and blowfly, occurring in decaying organic matter
rare a fancy or whim

Word Origin for maggot

C14: from earlier mathek; related to Old Norse mathkr worm, Old English matha, Old High German mado grub
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

Word Origin and History for maggot

late 15c., probably an unexplained variant of Middle English maðek, from Old English maða "maggot, grub," from Proto-Germanic *mathon (cf. Old Norse maðkr, Old Saxon matho, Middle Dutch, Dutch made, Old High German mado, German Made, Gothic maþa "maggot"). Figurative use "whim, fancy, crotchet" is 1620s, from the notion of a maggot in the brain.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

maggot in Medicine




The legless, soft-bodied, wormlike larva of any of various flies of the order Diptera, often found in decaying matter.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.