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[ey-fid, af-id] /ˈeɪ fɪd, ˈæf ɪd/
any of numerous tiny soft-bodied insects of the family Aphididae of worldwide distribution, that suck the sap from the stems and leaves of various plants, some developing wings when overcrowding occurs: an important pest of many fruit trees and vegetable crops.
Also called plant louse.
1880-85; back formation from aphides, plural of aphis
Related forms
[uh-fid-ee-uh n] /əˈfɪd i ən/ (Show IPA),
adjective, noun
aphidious, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for aphids
  • Dave has battled spider mites, greenhouse whiteflies, and aphids.
  • Some ants live in symbiotic relationship with aphids.
  • Ants protect aphids and they in turn provide them sweet excrements from abdomen.
  • Most ladybugs feed on plant-eating insects, such as aphids, though some species feed on the plants themselves.
  • Among those insects that may be repelled by red pepper are aphids, lace bugs, cabbage maggots and spider mites.
  • Look for aphids on lilies: heavy infestations can stunt or distort flower buds.
  • aphids are economically important on agricultural crops for a number of reasons.
  • As the bud cap begins to break open, the aphids enter the buds to feed and start the next generation.
  • Soybean exposure to aphids were significantly higher in susceptible, conventional treatments at three locations.
  • Their natural control of aphids in pecan orchards has decreased insecticide use against those pests.
British Dictionary definitions for aphids


any of the small homopterous insects of the family Aphididae, which feed by sucking the juices from plants Also called plant louse See also greenfly, blackfly
Derived Forms
aphidian (əˈfɪdɪən) adjective, noun
aphidious, adjective
Word Origin
C19: back formation from aphides, plural of aphis
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for aphids



1884, anglicized from Modern Latin aphides, plural of aphis, coined by Linnaeus (1758), though where he got it and why he applied it to the plant louse are mysteries. The theory favored by OED as "least improbable" is that it derives from the plural of Greek apheides "unsparing, lavishly bestowed," in reference either to the "prodigious rate of production" of the insects or their voracity. They also are known as ant-cows.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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