caterpillar

[ kat-uh-pil-er, kat-er- ]SEE DEFINITION OF caterpillar

Synonyms for caterpillar

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EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR CATERPILLAR

The Tobacco-worm is a caterpillar of the size and figure of a silk-worm.

The caterpillar and the chrysalis belong to the embryonic period.

The caterpillar, for example, resembles the worm which is the ancestor of the insects.

Cossus, because it smells like the caterpillar, Cossus ligniperda.

The caterpillar, you mean, boy—eating out its heart and its vitals.

A shudder, and the caterpillar became as inert as if it were dead.

Abdominal segment of a caterpillar to show the position of the tubercles.

The caterpillar mask had done its work, and having done its work, must die.

The caterpillar shook his stern, and the fly made off as if it had seen a ghost.

A caterpillar was dragging its length along and she touched it with her foot.

WORD ORIGIN

mid-15c., catyrpel, probably altered (by association with Middle English piller "plunderer;" see pillage) from Old North French caterpilose "caterpillar" (Old French chatepelose), literally "shaggy cat" (probably in reference to the "wooly-bear" variety), from Late Latin catta pilosa, from catta "cat" (see cat (n.)) + pilosus "hairy, shaggy, covered with hair," from pilus "hair" (see pile (n.3)). Cf. also French chenille "caterpillar," literally "little dog." A Swiss German name for it is teufelskatz "devil's cat." "The caterpillar has in many idioms received the name of other animals" [Kitchin, who cites also Milanese cagnon "little dog," Italian dialectal gattola "little cat," Kentish hop-dog, hop-cat, Portuguese lagarta "lizard." Cf. also American English wooly-bear for the hairy variety. An Old English name for it was cawelworm "cole-worm." Caterpillar tractor is from 1908.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR CATERPILLAR

grub

nounlarva
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.