• synonyms


noun, plural saw·flies.
  1. any of numerous hymenopterous insects of the family Tenthredinidae, the female of which has a sawlike ovipositor for inserting the eggs in the tissues of a host plant.
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Origin of sawfly

First recorded in 1765–75; saw1 + fly2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sawfly

Historical Examples of sawfly

  • The Slug-worm is so called from the similarity of the larva of this sawfly to a small black slug.

    The Book of Pears and Plums

    Edward Bartrum

  • These sawfly larvae need looking after and can be killed by spraying.

  • Sawfly larvae can at once be recognized by the curious positions they assume, and by the number of pro-legs, which exceeds ten.

  • Enemies: The larch is subject to the attacks of a sawfly, which has killed many trees of the American species.

    Studies of Trees

    Jacob Joshua Levison

British Dictionary definitions for sawfly


noun plural -flies
  1. any of various hymenopterous insects of the family Tenthredinidae and related families, the females of which have a sawlike ovipositor
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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