What does insect mean?

Definitions for insect
ˈɪn sɛktin·sect

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word insect.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. insect(noun)

    small air-breathing arthropod

  2. worm, louse, insect, dirt ball(noun)

    a person who has a nasty or unethical character undeserving of respect


  1. insect(Noun)

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

    Our shed has several insect infestions, including ants, yellowjackets, and wasps.

  2. insect(Noun)

    Any small arthropod similar to an insect including spiders, centipedes, millipedes, etc

    The swamp is swarming with every sort of insect.

  3. insect(Noun)

    A contemptible or powerless person.

    The manager's assistant was the worst sort of insect.

  4. Origin: From insectum, from perfect passive partciple of inseco, from in- + seco, from the notion that the insect's body is "cut into" three sections. Calque of Ancient Greek ἔντομον, from ἔντομος.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Insect(noun)

    one of the Insecta; esp., one of the Hexapoda. See Insecta

  2. Insect(noun)

    any air-breathing arthropod, as a spider or scorpion

  3. Insect(noun)

    any small crustacean. In a wider sense, the word is often loosely applied to various small invertebrates

  4. Insect(noun)

    fig.: Any small, trivial, or contemptible person or thing

  5. Insect(adj)

    of or pertaining to an insect or insects

  6. Insect(adj)

    like an insect; small; mean; ephemeral

  7. Origin: [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. Insect

    Insects are a class of invertebrates within the arthropod phylum that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body, three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes and one pair of antennae. They are among the most diverse groups 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 insects 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 complete metamorphosis. Insects that undergo incomplete 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. The most diverse insect groups appear to have coevolved with flowering plants.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Insect

    in′sekt, n. a word loosely used for a small creature, as a wasp or fly, with a body as if cut in the middle, or divided into sections: (zool.) an arthropod, usually winged in adult life, breathing air by means of tracheæ, and having frequently a metamorphosis in the life-history.—adj. like an insect: small: mean.—ns. Insectār′ium, a place where a collection of living insects is kept; Insec′ticide, act of killing insects.—adjs. Insec′tiform, Insec′tile, having the nature of an insect.—ns. Insec′tifuge, a substance which protects against insects; Insec′tion, an incision; In′sect-net, a light hand-net for catching insects; In′sect-pow′der, a dry powder used for stupefying and killing fleas and other insects, an insecticide or insectifuge. [Fr.,—L. insectum, pa.p. of insecārein, into, secāre, to cut.]

Editors Contribution

  1. insect

    A type of living organism.

    Insects are beautiful to watch.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 13, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. insect

    Song lyrics by insect -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by insect on the Lyrics.com website.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Insect

    From the root seco, to cut, because this tiny species of the animal world is, as it were, cut deeply into three distinct parts: the head, thorax, and abdomen.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'insect' in Nouns Frequency: #1765

Anagrams for insect »

  1. scient

  2. incest

  3. nicest

How to pronounce insect?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say insect in sign language?

  1. insect


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of insect in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of insect in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of insect in a Sentence

  1. Emil Cioran:

    What would be left of our tragedies if an insect were to present us his?

  2. Jed Stone:

    There is no current insecticide that doesn't show insect-resistance at the moment.

  3. Mehmet Murat ildan:

    For us, a pretty bird is a pretty bird; for an insect, pretty bird is an ugly enemy!

  4. Phillip Arnold:

    It’s the type of insect you can try and control and eradicate if you do it properly.

  5. Robert Nathan:

    If we're replacing 5 or 10 percent of the proteins that are normally in those feeds with insect protein.

Images & Illustrations of insect

  1. insectinsectinsectinsectinsect

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for insect

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"insect." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 20 Feb. 2020. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/insect>.

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