• synonyms


  1. (in certain female insects) an organ at the end of the abdomen, by which eggs are deposited.
  2. a similar organ in other animals, as certain fishes.
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Origin of ovipositor

First recorded in 1810–20; oviposit + -or2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ovipositor

Historical Examples

  • Terebrant: with an ovipositor fitted for piercing or boring.

    Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology

    John. B. Smith

  • Ovipositor: the organ with which an insect deposits its eggs.

    Agriculture for Beginners

    Charles William Burkett

  • When she finds it, she inserts her ovipositor into its body and lays her egg.

  • To sum up, the ovipositor when at rest goes round the abdomen.

    The Mason-bees

    J. Henri Fabre

  • When the ovipositor is brought into use this tube is thrust out.

British Dictionary definitions for ovipositor


  1. the egg-laying organ of most female insects, consisting of a pair of specialized appendages at the end of the abdomen
  2. a similar organ in certain female fishes, formed by an extension of the edges of the genital opening
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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

ovipositor in Science


  1. A tube in many female insects that extends from the end of the abdomen and is used to lay eggs.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.