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Definition of "larva" []

  • The newly hatched, wingless, often wormlike form of many insects before metamorphosis. (noun)
  • The newly hatched, earliest stage of any of various animals that undergo metamorphosis, differing markedly in form and appearance from the adult. (noun)
  • Roman Mythology A malevolent spirit of the dead; a lemur. (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.

Use "larva" in a sentence
  • "The larva of the Meloidæ, before reaching the nymphal state, passes through four forms, which I call the _primary larva_, the _secondary larva_, the _pseudochrysalis_ and the _tertiary larva_."
  • "The word larva is first recorded in English in its scientific sense in 1768, although it had been used in its “spirit” sense in 1651 in a way that foreshadowed the usage by Linnaeus."
  • "The word larva referring to the newly hatched form of insects before they undergo metamorphosis comes from the Latin word lārva, meaning “evil spirit, demon, devil.”"