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aphid

[ey-fid, af-id] /ˈeɪ fɪd, ˈæf ɪd/
noun
1.
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.
Origin
1880-1885
1880-85; back formation from aphides, plural of aphis
Related forms
aphidian
[uh-fid-ee-uh n] /əˈfɪd i ən/ (Show IPA),
adjective, noun
aphidious, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for aphid
  • To reduce food sources for ants, keep aphid and whitefly populations under control.
  • The adelgid is a tiny bug similar to an aphid, and is parasitic to hemlocks.
  • But for the generally defenceless pea aphid, mammal breath means only one thing: drop or die.
  • Several aphid species migrate during leaf colour changes.
  • But they were as few and far between as a pair of honeydew-secreting aphid rectums hidden in the world's largest ant colony.
  • Tests for resistance to the bird cherry-oat aphid were conducted among four wheat and eight triticale lines.
British Dictionary definitions for aphid

aphid

/ˈeɪfɪd/
noun
1.
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 aphid
n.

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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