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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
insect/mosquito/bug etc repellent
stick insect
▪ young models who look like stick insects are very thin
▪ In aquatic insects they are often specially adapted as swimming organs.
▪ Of those that are known, aquatic insects that winter as immature stages in large ponds probably have the warmest environments.
▪ They feed on crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic insects, live fish and will scavenge on dead fish.
▪ A varied diet of earthworms, aquatic insects, shrimps, small fish and tablet foods will keep it in good health.
▪ Inspectors told of finding a sickening harvest of leaves, grease and dead insects in cupboards and drawers.
▪ They keep us in jars like dead insects and fail to perceive the pulse of desire.
▪ Will they eat dead insects or pieces of meat?
▪ There were also rat droppings and dead insects at the dirt-ridden August Moon restaurant.
▪ Gregarious, flocks often hawking for flying insects and spiralling up to perform aerobatics.
▪ But flying insects have much more ancient enemies.
▪ Gnat and Mosquito larvae, including Bloodworms, can not be bred, as they are the young stages of flying insects.
▪ Such late flowering plants are an important source of nectar for late flying insects.
▪ It feeds upon flying insects and the tiny fish that inhabit the Aquasphere.
▪ It is found mainly in timbers less than fifty years old and is a much larger insect than the furniture beetle.
▪ Ladybirds and other insects should be equally welcome.
▪ Birds become quieter in the afternoon, while butterflies and other insects are more active, feeding on the opened flowers.
▪ Several other insects attach extraneous objects or material to themselves, but for very different reasons.
▪ While larger mammals can often adapt, many lovely birds, butterflies, moths and other insects can not.
▪ And that they registered similar changes when other creatures - insects, spiders and so on - suffered pain in their presence.
▪ Catch some flies, small moths, mosquitoes or other fairly small insects and keep them alive in a jar.
▪ In consequence, between 20 and 80% of ovules are killed by pollinators and other insects.
▪ And vast numbers of other insect species fly throughout their adult phase.
▪ Other foods that can be placed in the compartment include caterpillars and small insects.
▪ Both make up for the lack of nutrients in the soil by trapping and digesting small insects.
▪ Others are virtually indistinguishable from the flowers with which they associate - so much so that smaller insects keep settling on them.
▪ A small green insect with folded wings had settled on her forehead.
▪ Throw some small insects into the web and find out what prevents them getting out before the spider can catch them.
▪ Catch some flies, small moths, mosquitoes or other fairly small insects and keep them alive in a jar.
▪ The cellar was a very unpleasant place, dusty and full of small scurrying insects.
▪ As he cowered on the ground, a small insect ran from the space station.
▪ Ants are social insects, so their life is a fairly complicated one.
▪ Are we all just social insects deep down?
▪ His research focuses on the social insects, especially bees as pollinators.
▪ Ants are called social insects because they live in large colonies.
▪ The regimented society of social insects such as ants and bees is an object lesson in order and organization.
▪ Nevertheless, these volumes have drawn together many little-known areas of social insect and spider biology in lucid accounts.
▪ Among the social insects dense aggregations occur but without the loss of complex social organisation.
▪ Volume one comprises eight chapters which introduce social insects and the factors that separate them from their less cooperative allies.
▪ And squeamishness prevented me looking for a tiny insect to place on a sticky dewdrop leaf.
▪ Head lice are tiny insects which live in the hair and feed by biting the scalp and sucking blood.
▪ The pollen is usually transferred by tiny insects visiting the sweet and colored flowers where these plants are cultivated.
▪ There are no land animals, apart from some tiny insects.
▪ Scientists have even been able to distinguish tiny parasitic insects, mites, clinging to the legs of the bigger ones.
▪ A redshank swept its bill through soft patches of wet mud and breakfasted on tiny insects, shrimps and wriggling worms.
▪ She shook the sun dress convulsively, dislodging many of the tiny insects.
▪ Conifers protect their trunks from mechanical damage and insect attack with a special gummy substance, resin.
▪ Such crops occur after a dry spell or insect attack and happen only once.
▪ These will have been pressure-impregnated, and will be resistant to damp and insect attack.
▪ His only injuries were sunburn, insect bites and chafing caused by spending more than 40 hours in his wetsuit.
▪ At Ards, doctors have reported an increased number of patients coming forward for treatment for insect bites and stings.
▪ Unprotected by a shell, they are easy meat for insect larvae and flatworms.
▪ Both fish prefer live foods, such as worms, insect larvae and small fish.
▪ Instead they have to consume foods such as shrimps, snails, algae and insect larvae.
▪ In soft-bodied insect larvae, where the appendages are reduced or absent, locomotion occurs through quite different physical mechanisms.
▪ In a planted pond the fish will find plenty of algae and insect larvae on which they can feed in order to survive.
▪ Diet in the wild consists of snails, crustaceans and insect larvae.
▪ For example, we might imagine a population of unpalatable, but cryptic, insect larvae.
▪ Although their names make them sound like large predators, they are actually tiny insect larvae.
▪ In the tundra there is a massive growth of ground vegetation and insect life in a very short spring and summer.
▪ The insect life of the leaves and grass was stilled.
▪ Those alarmed by insect life should consider holidaying in Skegness.
▪ Night-time average temperatures would increasingly leave much larger areas frost-free, leading to increases in insect life.
▪ Silt, washed from deep forestry ploughing, smothers plants, endangering insect life and therefore fish survival also.
▪ Out of the drone of insect life around us I could distinguish the sound of an aeroplane engine.
▪ Plants under stress from drought, disease or nutrient deficiency are the most likely to attract insect pests.
▪ Smaller birds that prey on insect pests also raid fruit crops, which must be netted.
▪ Also insect pests and diseases increase when the same crops are grown year after year.
▪ Many birds nest and sleep in hedges and eat insect pests.
▪ The house longhorn beetle is another insect pest which seems to be confined to parts of Hampshire and south-west Surrey.
▪ Some plants already possess genetic resistance to attacks by insect pests while others resist certain fungal diseases.
▪ I glued up the cat flap. 1 sprayed the letter box with insect repellent.
▪ So as soon as the bamboos were skinned, the fishermen coated them with a natural insect repellent.
▪ Vic says not to worry - did I think Father Firmin had insect repellent all those years ago?
▪ To protect people from being bitten they must be educated and persuaded to use insect repellents and mosquito nets.
▪ I never went out without my insect repellent and waterproof sunblock.
▪ Good pine shavings are best as they contain resin, which also acts as an insect repellent.
▪ So use a good insect repellent and remember to keep re-applying it.
▪ The numbers of damaging insect species resistant to pesticide have multiplied from 160 to 450 since 1960.
▪ Certain insect species are simply cleverer than we.
▪ And vast numbers of other insect species fly throughout their adult phase.
▪ If world insect species totals are as high as 50 million, this would extend to 28,345 species per insect specialist.
▪ Imagine the myriads of such infrared and other pathways and signals that the various insect species must be utilizing.
▪ To put it another way, ancestors of stick insects that did not resemble sticks did not leave descendants.
▪ Children admiring Living World stick insects.
▪ One of them, anyway - the stick insect couldn't have escaped.
▪ Eggs, caterpillars, chrysalids, stick insects and equipment are available for sale from the showroom.
▪ He was built like a basketball player; tall and as thin as a stick insect.
▪ The initial resemblance of the ancestral stick insect to a stick must have been very remote.
▪ When I was young I was like a stick insect, then at fourteen or fifteen I put on weight.
▪ Plants under stress from drought, disease or nutrient deficiency are the most likely to attract insect pests.
▪ The smell of decay will attract mammals and insects that consider it lunch.
▪ Phosphorescent fungi attract night-flying insects, such as moths, which perform the same role.
▪ In some orchids, a mere one plant in fifty attracts even a single insect.
▪ Perishable food or sweets hidden away in drawers may attract mice or insects or may go off.
▪ Such blooms attracted several kinds of insects - bees as well as beetles.
▪ A pair of swifts with a family to feed may catch twenty thousand insects in a single day.
▪ Reality now was the children catching insects for food, and wartime silence under a high, full moon.
▪ Then they will suddenly swoop down to catch mammals or sometimes insects or worms.
▪ The male catches an insect and carefully parcels it up in silk.
▪ They do not fly to catch insects flying fish are largely oceanic and flying insects are rare over the open sea.
▪ Bacterial rotting often does not look much like mould. % % % q. Local birds tend to eat little black insects.
▪ They ate insects and were fun to watch when one was high.
▪ Will they eat dead insects or pieces of meat?
▪ A turtle eating the insect that eats the leaf makes a chain of two.
▪ They are popular with farmers and ranchers, because they eat the insects around cattle.
▪ The Solenodon eats insects and the occasional bird, reptile or amphibian.
▪ Other species eat worms or insect larvae.
▪ They feed on insects, seed and shoots, digging in the snow with well-feathered feet and burrowing for food and shelter.
▪ The bats leave the caverns at sunset each day to feed on night-flying insects.
▪ They are also fed intermittently with stunned insects.
▪ Consequently, the swallows fly progressively higher to feed on the insects.
▪ Tarsiers feed mainly on insects and their larvae but can catch small lizards, fledgling birds, spiders and forest mice.
▪ It feeds upon flying insects and the tiny fish that inhabit the Aquasphere.
▪ The most aerial of all birds, superficially resembling swallows and martins, feeding on flying insects.
▪ Wild specimens are known to feed predominantly on insect larvae but will also take algae and detritus.
▪ The cold water cistern should be fitted with a lid to keep out light and insects but should not be airtight.
▪ The overflow connection should have a filter to keep out insects and an internal dip tube to prevent icy draughts.
▪ Apart from adding to the pleasure of a wood, they keep down insects which might harm the trees.
▪ These cells then swell and burst, killing the insect.
▪ Modern woodworm killing fluids are very efficient and will kill the insects at all stages of their life cycle.
▪ At least 100,000 fish are thought to have been killed, along with the insects and plants on which they depend.
▪ Pesticides kill off the beneficial insects as well as the destructive ones creating an imbalance in nature and wasting valuable assets.
▪ Both make up for the lack of nutrients in the soil by trapping and digesting small insects.
▪ For bees and other insects, social life pays.
▪ Horton picked the spider up, held it in his palm and asked if the insect was bothering anyone.
▪ If your child becomes interested in insects, encourage her to focus on a particular insect.
▪ Is there any reason to believe an insect may have crawled or flown into the ear?
▪ Spurs occur on the legs of many insects and differ from setae in being of multicellular origin.
▪ The Percys ate their peanuts one by one, patiently dislodging the insects.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Insect \In"sect\, a.

  1. Of or pertaining to an insect or insects.

  2. Like an insect; small; mean; ephemeral.


Insect \In"sect\ ([i^]n"s[e^]kt), n. [F. insecte, L. insectum, fr. insectus, p. p. of insecare to cut in. See Section. The name was originally given to certain small animals, whose bodies appear cut in, or almost divided. Cf. Entomology.]

  1. (Zo["o]l.) One of the Insecta; esp., one of the Hexapoda. See Insecta.

    Note: The hexapod insects pass through three stages during their growth, viz., the larva, pupa, and imago or adult, but in some of the orders the larva differs little from the imago, except in lacking wings, and the active pupa is very much like the larva, except in having rudiments of wings. In the higher orders, the larva is usually a grub, maggot, or caterpillar, totally unlike the adult, while the pupa is very different from both larva and imago and is inactive, taking no food.

  2. (Zo["o]l.) Any air-breathing arthropod, as a spider or scorpion.

  3. (Zo["o]l.) Any small crustacean. In a wider sense, the word is often loosely applied to various small invertebrates.

  4. Fig.: Any small, trivial, or contemptible person or thing.

    Insect powder,a powder used for the extermination of insects; esp., the powdered flowers of certain species of Pyrethrum, a genus now merged in Chrysanthemum. Called also Persian powder.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1600, from Latin (animal) insectum "(animal) with a notched or divided body," literally "cut into," from neuter past participle of insectare "to cut into, to cut up," from in- "into" (see in- (2)) + secare "to cut" (see section (n.)). Pliny's loan-translation of Greek entomon "insect" (see entomology), which was Aristotle's term for this class of life, in reference to their "notched" bodies.\n

\nFirst in English in 1601 in Holland's translation of Pliny. Translations of Aristotle's term also form the usual word for "insect" in Welsh (trychfil, from trychu "cut" + mil "animal"), Serbo-Croatian (zareznik, from rezati "cut"), Russian (nasekomoe, from sekat "cut"), etc.


n. An arthropod in the class Insecta, characterized by six legs, up to four wings, and a chitinous exoskeleton.

  1. n. small air-breathing arthropod

  2. a person who has a nasty or unethical character undeserving of respect [syn: worm, louse, dirt ball]


Insects (from Latin , a calque of Greek [], "cut into sections") are a class of invertebrates within the arthropod phylum that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body ( head, thorax and abdomen), three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes and one pair of antennae. They are the most diverse group of animals on the planet, including more than a million described species and representing more than half of all known living organisms. The number of extant species is estimated at between six and ten million, and potentially represent over 90% of the differing animal life forms on Earth. Insects may be found in nearly all environments, although only a small number of species reside in the oceans, a habitat dominated by another arthropod group, crustaceans.

The life cycles of insects vary but most hatch from eggs. Insect growth is constrained by the inelastic exoskeleton and development involves a series of molts. The immature stages can differ from the adults in structure, habit and habitat, and can include a passive pupal stage in those groups that undergo 4-stage metamorphosis (see holometabolism). Insects that undergo 3-stage metamorphosis lack a pupal stage and adults develop through a series of nymphal stages. The higher level relationship of the Hexapoda is unclear. Fossilized insects of enormous size have been found from the Paleozoic Era, including giant dragonflies with wingspans of 55 to 70 cm (22–28 in). The most diverse insect groups appear to have coevolved with flowering plants.

Adult insects typically move about by walking, flying or sometimes swimming (see below, Locomotion). As it allows for rapid yet stable movement, many insects adopt a tripedal gait in which they walk with their legs touching the ground in alternating triangles. Insects are the only invertebrates to have evolved flight. Many insects spend at least part of their lives under water, with larval adaptations that include gills, and some adult insects are aquatic and have adaptations for swimming. Some species, such as water striders, are capable of walking on the surface of water. Insects are mostly solitary, but some, such as certain bees, ants and termites, are social and live in large, well-organized colonies. Some insects, such as earwigs, show maternal care, guarding their eggs and young. Insects can communicate with each other in a variety of ways. Male moths can sense the pheromones of female moths over great distances. Other species communicate with sounds: crickets stridulate, or rub their wings together, to attract a mate and repel other males. Lampyridae in the beetle order Coleoptera communicate with light.

Humans regard certain insects as pests, and attempt to control them using insecticides and a host of other techniques. Some insects damage crops by feeding on sap, leaves or fruits. A few parasitic species are pathogenic. Some insects perform complex ecological roles; blow-flies, for example, help consume carrion but also spread diseases. Insect pollinators are essential to the life-cycle of many flowering plant species on which most organisms, including humans, are at least partly dependent; without them, the terrestrial portion of the biosphere (including humans) would be devastated. Many other insects are considered ecologically beneficial as predators and a few provide direct economic benefit. Silkworms and bees have been used extensively by humans for the production of silk and honey, respectively. In some cultures, people eat the larvae or adults of certain insects.

Insect (disambiguation)

Insects are six-legged arthropods of the class Insecta.

Insect or Insects may also refer to:

  • Insects (album) by the band Breed 77
  • Insects (film), upcoming Czech animated film
  • Insects (journal), scientific periodical on entomology
  • Insect-class gunboat

Usage examples of "insect".

Vandene and Careane were both tight-lipped, and even Adeleas seemed included, turning her head this way and that to study the women along the walls as she might have insects previously unknown to her.

The few deer, pheasant, turkey, squirrels, rabbits, and the like had multiplied to the point where some hunting was allowed, and as with all the Anchors, there was a complex ecological chain involving insects, birds, and many other creatures, not all of which were nice for or to humans but all of which were necessary to keep the system in some sort of balance.

The weight of the armored soldiers pushed the Archai back, but the twin forelimbs and suicidal tenacity of the insect warriors made them terrible opponents in a close-quarter fight like this one.

He gave a pretty demonstration of a bird chasing insects, darting, banking, soaring, whirling and plunging with the sun ashine upon the beauty of his snow-white plumage.

Swallow and Ata and any other women for a year, while we turn the tide to obliterate the Insects.

Curious, Audubon stopped and waited by some poppies for a closer look at the insects.

Thin bolts of energy stabbed through the barroom ceiling, transfixing people here and there like insects on pins.

The insect urgently thrust out into the light and Bergen spat it towards the other of the two men, who sprang back out of the way.

Any insects there now are there because the bionomics board planned it that way and the chief ecologist okayed the invasion.

And he was aware of each individual tree and every leaf upon all the branches, the roosting birdlife and dormant insects, the larger animals that slept hidden in the underbrush.

To a soldier, their faces were swollen and red with insect bites, and many had the glassy-eyed expressions of men ill with the ague.

Flies gathered around him in swarms, covering every part of his body, and he repeatedly had to remind himself of his Brahminical heritage which forbade him from swatting the bothersome insects.

If any time-travelers had brought budwood from improved stonefruits, the resulting trees might have been too susceptible to Pliocene insects and diseases to survive without chemical protection.

The moon was attending to business in the section of sky where it belonged, and the trees was making shadows on the ground according to science and nature, and there was a kind of conspicuous hullabaloo going on in the bushes between the bullbats and the orioles and the jack-rabbits and other feathered insects of the forest.

But Candlemas yelled as another insect tore into his robe at the shoulder, seeking sweet meat and rich red blood.