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caterpillar

[kat-uh-pil-er, kat-er-] /ˈkæt əˌpɪl ər, ˈkæt ər-/
noun
1.
the wormlike larva of a butterfly or a moth.
2.
a person who preys on others; extortioner.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English catyrpel, probably alteration of an Old North French variant of Old French chatepelose, equivalent to chate cat1 + pelose hairy (≪ Latin pilōsus; see pilose); -yr probably by association with cater tomcat (see caterwaul); final -er probably by association with piller despoiler (see pillage, -er1); cf. chenille

Caterpillar

[kat-uh-pil-er, kat-er-] /ˈkæt əˌpɪl ər, ˈkæt ər-/
Trademark.
1.
a tractor intended for rough terrain, propelled by two endless belts or tracks that pass over a number of wheels.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for caterpillar
  • The caterpillar will build a tent in a host plant where it hides in the day.
  • Behind the mandibles of the caterpillar are the spinnerets, for manipulating silk.
  • caterpillar hairs have also been known to cause keratoconjunctivitis.
British Dictionary definitions for caterpillar

caterpillar

/ˈkætəˌpɪlə/
noun
1.
the wormlike larva of butterflies and moths, having numerous pairs of legs and powerful biting jaws. It may be brightly coloured, hairy, or spiny
Word Origin
C15 catyrpel, probably from Old Northern French catepelose, literally: hairy cat

Caterpillar

/ˈkætəˌpɪlə/
noun trademark
1.
an endless track, driven by sprockets or wheels, used to propel a heavy vehicle and enable it to cross soft or uneven ground
2.
a vehicle, such as a tractor, tank, bulldozer, etc, driven by such tracks
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 caterpillar
n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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caterpillar in Science
caterpillar
  (kāt'ər-pĭl'ər)   
The wormlike larva of a butterfly or moth. Caterpillars have thirteen body segments, with three pairs of stubby legs on the thorax and several on the abdomen, six eyes on each side of the head, and short antennae. Caterpillars feed mostly on foliage and are usually brightly colored. Many have poisonous spines.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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caterpillar in the Bible

the consumer. Used in the Old Testament (1 Kings 8:37; 2 Chr. 6:28; Ps. 78:46; Isa. 33:4) as the translation of a word (hasil) the root of which means "to devour" or "consume," and which is used also with reference to the locust in Deut. 28:38. It may have been a species of locust, or the name of one of the transformations through which the locust passes, locust-grub. It is also found (Ps. 105:34; Jer. 51:14, 27; R.V., "cankerworm") as the rendering of a different Hebrew word, _yelek_, a word elsewhere rendered "cankerworm" (q.v.), Joel 1:4; 2:25. (See LOCUST.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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