Definition of "insect" []

  • Any of numerous usually small arthropod animals of the class Insecta, having an adult stage characterized by three pairs of legs and a body segmented into head, thorax, and abdomen and usually having two pairs of wings. Insects include the flies, crickets, mosquitoes, beetles, butterflies, and bees. (noun)
  • Any of various similar arthropod animals, such as spiders, centipedes, or ticks. See Regional Note at lightning bug. (noun)
  • An insignificant or contemptible person. (noun)
  • Any small air-breathing arthropod of the class Insecta, having a body divided into head, thorax, and abdomen, three pairs of legs, and (in most species) two pairs of wings. Insects comprise about five sixths of all known animal species, with a total of over one million named species (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • (loosely) any similar invertebrate, such as a spider, tick, or centipede (noun)
  • A contemptible, loathsome, or insignificant person (noun) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "insect" in a sentence
  • "If you are stung on the neck or throat area, inside your mouth or the gastrointestinal tract (this commonly occurs when the insect is swallowed along with a beverage), there is a moderate risk for a complication."
  • "In the case of pesticide resistance because the breathing skin of the insect is dysfunctional, is the creature really "more fit"?"
  • "Although, as I said before, I know only a few insects, I at once had the impression of something undreamed-of, something extremely bizarre — the impression, let us say, of an insect from the moon."