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[si-key-duh, -kah-] /sɪˈkeɪ də, -ˈkɑ-/
noun, plural cicadas, cicadae
[si-key-dee, -kah-] /sɪˈkeɪ di, -ˈkɑ-/ (Show IPA)
any large homopterous insect of the family Cicadidae, the male of which produces a shrill sound by means of vibrating membranes on the underside of the abdomen.
Origin of cicada
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin cicāda Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cicada
  • Scientists are still trying to crack this and other cicada mysteries.
  • cicada-damaged twigs can be identified by a line of small slits on the underside.
  • Also, depending on the year, the well-known cicada hatch often happens for a brief period in late spring or early summer.
  • Usually they eat small insects, but sometimes you can see them catch a butterfly or a cicada.
  • The sounds include courtship calls, and squawking sounds when the cicada is handled or disturbed.
  • Occasionally large ground-nesting species such as cicada killers construct nests in dense aggregations.
  • cicada casings stuck to its bark and my cousin laughed as he picked them off and chased me with them.
  • New insects such as beetles and cicada were evolving.
British Dictionary definitions for cicada


noun (pl) -das, -dae (-diː), -las, -le (-leɪ)
any large broad insect of the homopterous family Cicadidae, most common in warm regions. Cicadas have membranous wings and the males produce a high-pitched drone by vibration of a pair of drumlike abdominal organs
Word Origin
C19: from Latin
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 cicada

late 14c., from Latin cicada "cicada, tree cricket," not a native Latin word; perhaps a loan-word from a lost Mediterranean language.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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