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insect (n.)
c. 1600, from Latin (animal) insectum "(animal) with a notched or divided body," literally "cut into," noun use of neuter past participle of insectare "to cut into, to cut up," from in- "into" (from PIE root *en "in") + secare "to cut" (from PIE root *sek- "to cut").

The Latin word is Pliny's loan-translation of Greek entomon "insect" (see entomology), which was Aristotle's term for this class of life, in reference to their "notched" bodies. First in English in 1601 in Holland's translation of Pliny. In zoology, in reference to a class of animals, 1753. Translations of Aristotle's term also form the usual word for "insect" in Welsh (trychfil, from trychu "cut" + mil "animal"), Serbo-Croatian (zareznik, from rezati "cut"), Russian (nasekomoe, from sekat "cut"), etc. Insectarian "one who eats insects" is attested from 1893.

Among the adjectival forms that have been tried in English (and mostly rejected by disuse) are insectile (1620s), insectic (1767), insective (1834), insectual (1849), insectine (1853), insecty (1859), insectan (1888).
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insectarium (n.)
1872, from insect + -arium, abstracted from aquarium, etc.
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insecticide (n.)
"substance which kills insects," 1866 (from 1865 as an adjective), from insect + -cide "killing." Earlier as a type of machine (1856). Related: Insecticidal (1857).
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insectivorous (adj.)
1610s; see insect + -vorous "eating, devouring." The mammalian class of Insectivora is from 1821; insectivore (n.) is from 1858 (both are earlier in French).
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insectivore (n.)
1863, from French insectivore (1817), from Latin insectivorus, from combining form of insectum (see insect) + vorare "devour, swallow" (from PIE root *gwora- "food, devouring").
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entomology (n.)

"the branch of zoology which treats of insects," 1764, from French entomologie (1764), coined from -logie "study of" (see -logy) + Greek entomon "insect," neuter of entomos "cut in pieces, cut up," in this case "having a notch or cut (at the waist)," from en "in" (see en- (2)) + temnein "to cut" (from PIE root *tem- "to cut").

Insects were so called by Aristotle in reference to the segmented division of their bodies. Compare insect, which is from a Latin loan-translation of the Greek word. Related: Entomological; entomologically. Hybrid insectology (1766, from French insectologie, 1744) is not much used.

I have given the name insectology to that part of natural history which has insects for its object; that of entomology ... would undoubtedly have been more suitable ... but its barbarous sound terryfy'd me. [Charles Bonnet's English translation of his "Contemplation de la nature," 1766]
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*sek- 

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to cut." It forms all or part of: bisect; dissect; hacksaw; insect; intersect; resect; saw (n.1) "cutting tool;" Saxon; scythe; secant; secateurs; sect; section; sector; sedge; segment; skin; skinflint; skinny; transect.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Hittite shakk- "to know, pay attention to;" Latin secare "to cut," sectio "a cutting, cutting off, division;" Old Church Slavonic seko, sešti "to cut," sečivo "ax, hatchet," Russian seč' "to cut to pieces;" Lithuanian įsėkti "to engrave, carve;" Albanian šate "mattock;" Old Saxon segasna, Old English sigðe "scythe;" Old English secg "sword," seax "knife, short sword;" Old Irish doescim "I cut."

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entomolite (n.)
"fossilized insect," 1813, from entomo-, from Greek entomon "insect" (see entomology) + -lite "stone." Late 18c. in French and German.
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chigger (n.)

"minute fle-like insect of the West Indies and South America," 1756, from West Indies chigoe (1660s), possibly from Carib, or from or influenced by words from African languages (such as Wolof and Yoruba jiga "insect").

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entomophagous (adj.)
"insectivorous," 1800, from entomo-, from Greek entomon "insect" (see entomology) + -phagous "eating."
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