Caterpillar Cat"er*pil`lar, n. [OE. catyrpel, corrupted fr. OF. chatepelouse, or cate pelue, fr. chate, F. chatte, she-cat, fem. of chat, L. catus + L. pilosus hairy, or F. pelu hairy, fr. L. pilus hair. See {Cat}, and {Pile} hair.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) The larval state of a butterfly or any lepidopterous insect; sometimes, but less commonly, the larval state of other insects, as the sawflies, which are also called false caterpillars. The true caterpillars have three pairs of true legs, and several pairs of abdominal fleshy legs (prolegs) armed with hooks. Some are hairy, others naked. They usually feed on leaves, fruit, and succulent vegetables, being often very destructive, Many of them are popularly called worms, as the {cutworm}, {cankerworm}, {army worm}, {cotton worm}, {silkworm}. [1913 Webster]

2. (Bot.) A plant of the genus {Scorpiurus}, with pods resembling caterpillars. [1913 Webster]

{Caterpillar catcher}, or {Caterpillar eater} (Zo["o]l.), a bird belonging to the family of Shrikes, which feeds on caterpillars. The name is also given to several other birds.

{Caterpillar hunter} (Zo["o]l.), any species of beetles of the genus {Callosoma} and other allied genera of the family {Carabid[ae]} which feed habitually upon caterpillars. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cutworm — Cut worm ( w?rm ), n. (Zo[ o]l.) A caterpillar which at night eats off young plants of cabbage, corn, etc., usually at the ground. Some kinds ascend fruit trees and eat off the flower buds. During the day, they conceal themselves in the earth.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cutworm — [kut′wʉrm΄] n. any of a number of soil dwelling caterpillars (family Noctuidae) that feed on young plants of cabbage, corn, etc., cutting them off at ground level …   English World dictionary

  • Cutworm — The cutworm larva of the Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba) Cutworms are not worms, biologically speaking, but caterpillars; they are moth larvae that hide under litter or soil during the day, coming out in the dark to feed on plants. A… …   Wikipedia

  • cutworm — /kut werrm /, n. the caterpillar of any of several noctuid moths, which feeds at night on the stems of young plants, cutting them off at the ground. [1800 10; CUT + WORM] * * * Larva of certain species of owlet moths (family Noctuidae). The… …   Universalium

  • cutworm — noun Date: 1816 any of various smooth bodied chiefly nocturnal noctuid moth caterpillars which often feed on young plant stems near ground level …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cutworm — noun the larva of any of many moths ,of the family Noctuidae, that is an agricultural pest …   Wiktionary

  • cutworm — n. larva of a moth …   English contemporary dictionary

  • cutworm — noun a moth caterpillar that lives in the soil and eats through the stems of young plants at ground level …   English new terms dictionary

  • cutworm — cut•worm [[t]ˈkʌtˌwɜrm[/t]] n. ent the caterpillar of any of several noctuid moths that feeds at night on the stems of young plants, cutting them off at the ground • Etymology: 1800–10 …   From formal English to slang

  • cutworm — /ˈkʌtwɜm/ (say kutwerm) noun any of various caterpillars of certain noctuid moths, which feed at night on the young plants of corn, cabbage, etc., cutting them off at or near the ground …   Australian English dictionary

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