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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
boll weevil
▪ He was the weevil in the fruit, according to Rex, the canker in their midst.
▪ Help at hand Away with vine weevil Pippa Greenwood outwits this frustrating plant predator.
▪ Low cunning with moats Adult weevils are difficult to eradicate.
▪ Make sure there are no other ways for the weevils to climb up to the pots.
▪ The boll weevil infests cotton fields and millionaires go bankrupt.
▪ The pesticide killed off weevils and other insects, leaving the army worm to multiply unchecked by its natural enemies.
▪ Watch out for the vine weevil that eats plants' roots-it's on the increase due to warmer winters.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Weevil \Wee"vil\, n. [OE. wivel, wevil, AS. wifel, wibil; akin to OD. wevel, OHG. wibil, wibel, G. wiebel, wibel, and probably to Lith. vabalas beetle, and E. weave. See Weave.] (Zo["o]l.) Any one of numerous species of snout beetles, or Rhynchophora, in which the head is elongated and usually curved downward. Many of the species are very injurious to cultivated plants. The larv[ae] of some of the species live in nuts, fruit, and grain by eating out the interior, as the plum weevil, or curculio, the nut weevils, and the grain weevil (see under Plum, Nut, and Grain). The larv[ae] of other species bore under the bark and into the pith of trees and various other plants, as the pine weevils (see under Pine). See also Pea weevil, Rice weevil, Seed weevil, under Pea, Rice, and Seed.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English wifel "small beetle," from Proto-Germanic *webilaz (cognates: Old Saxon wibil, Old High German wibil, German Wiebel "beetle, chafer," Old Norse tordyfill "dung beetle"), cognate with Lithuanian vabalas "beetle," from PIE root *webh- "to weave," also "to move quickly" (see weave (v.)). The sense gradually narrowed by 15c. to a particular kind of beetle that, in larval or adult stages, bores into plants, often destroying them.


n. 1 Any of several small herbivorous beetle in the superfamily Curculionoidea. Many of them have a distinctive snout. 2 Any of several small herbivorous beetles in the family Curculionidae belonging to the superfamily ''Curculionoidea''. 3 Any of several similar but more distantly related beetles such as the biscuit weevil.


n. any of several families of mostly small beetles that feed on plants and plant products; especially snout weevils and seed weevils


A weevil is a type of beetle from the Curculionoidea superfamily. They are usually small, less than , and herbivorous. Over 60,000 species are in several families, mostly in the family Curculionidae (the true weevils). Some other beetles, although not closely related, bear the name "weevil", such as the biscuit weevil (Stegobium paniceum), which belongs to the family Anobiidae.

Many weevils are considered pests because of their ability to damage and kill crops, but others are used for biological control of invasive plants. The grain or wheat weevil (Sitophilus granarius) damages stored grain. The boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) attacks cotton crops. It lays its eggs inside cotton bolls, and the larvae eat their way out.

One species of weevil, Austroplatypus incompertus, exhibits eusociality, one of the few organisms outside the Hymenoptera and the Isoptera to do so.

Weevil (disambiguation)

Weevil can mean:

  • Weevil, a sort of beetle
  • Wheat weevil
  • Weevil (band), a band from Yorkshire, England
  • Weevil (Torchwood), an alien race in Torchwood
  • Insector Haga - Weevil Underwood, a character in the Yu-Gi-Oh! universe
  • Eli “Weevil” Navarro, a supporting character in Veronica Mars
Weevil (band)

Weevil were a British indietronica duo from London, formed in 1999, consisting of Jonny Pilcher and Tom Betts.

Weevil (Torchwood)

Weevils are a fictional extraterrestrial species from the British science fiction television series Torchwood, first appearing in the episode " Everything Changes". As Jack Harkness explains in that episode, the name " Weevil" is applied to them by Torchwood, but as communication with them is limited, the true name of their race is not known. The behind-the-scenes documentary series, Torchwood Declassified, describes them as the "resident alien of the show". Torchwood Three has a captive Weevil which Owen studies. Jack first considered the name Barbara, but "It didn't seem right" so they named it Janet.

Usage examples of "weevil".

Pepper contains piperettine and piperine, compounds that are poisonous to some caterpillars, beetles and weevils.

Plenty of dry food remained in the pantry, undisturbed and unfouled by weevils.

The Odynerus has for its instinctive mission to arrest the excessive multiplication of a lucerne weevil, no less than twenty-four of whose grubs are necessary to rear the offspring of the brigand, and nearly sixty gadflies are sacrificed to the growth of a single Bembex.

The little scoundrel is suffering from lignivorous invasions of all kinds, evil eruptions of xylostroma, probable sclerosis of the resin canals, peduncular collapse, weevil infestation, and galloping wet rot.

Pepper contains piperettine and piperine, compounds that are poisonous to some caterpillars, beetles and weevils.

Yet with what interest and lucidity has Fabre succeeded in expounding the complex morphoses of the obscure and miserable larva of the Sitaris, the curious intestine of the Scarabaeus, the secret of the spawning of the weevil, and the ingenious mechanisms of the musical instruments of the Decticus and the Cicada.

And not long ago had come news of weevils and rusts and smuts and the Divine only knew what else beginning to make their sinister way through the farming belts of western Alhanroel, so in a little while the same madness would very likely be sweeping the senior continent.

They caught him and his master, Fianelli, who had been hiding like a boll weevil right in the middle of his hunters.

He wondered what these men would think if they found themselves lacking soaps for their linen, out of mugwort to dissuade the lice and moth from their gowns, with no bay leaves to keep the weevils out of the flour.

The boll weevil came along and ate all the cotton, and we had to find something else to do with the land.

Co-Lateral Symbiosis of the Boll Weevil, and so on, through three inches of fine print The old boy seemed to be a heavyweight.

However, you don't blame the entire church for the actions of boll weevils who use the edifice in order to do their crimes.

He dug in and dug out by the skill of his tilth for himself and all belonging to him and he sweated his crew beneath his auspice for the living and he urned his dread, that dragon volant, and he made louse for us and delivered us to boll weevils amain, that mighty liberator, Unfru-Chikda-Uru-Wukru and begad he did, our ancestor most worshipful, till he thought of a better one in his windower's house with that blushmantle upon him from earsend to earsend.

The director of the county extension office must have rattled off two dozen possibilities, including the corn borer, corn earworm, corn weevil, corn beetle, corn-root aphid, and a very common parasitic fungus called corn smut.

I waited until you could have heard a weevil crapping on a cotton boll, and then I asked my question.