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[kok-chey-fer] /ˈkɒkˌtʃeɪ fər/
any of certain scarab beetles, especially the European species, Melolontha melolontha, which is very destructive to forest trees.
Origin of cockchafer
1685-95; cock1 (with reference to its size) + chafer Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cockchafer
Historical Examples
  • The borer is the despair of the land-owner; he works underground; no Sicilian vespers for him until he becomes a cockchafer!

    Sons of the Soil Honore de Balzac
  • The only thing was that the cockchafer, whatever one might say about it, was a public-house.

  • They take up a menacing and ferocious attitude, and the cockchafer passes to some other plant.

    The Romance of Plant Life G. F. Scott Elliot
  • Loman was returning from one of his now frequent visits to the cockchafer.

  • Did you ever see an orthodox doctor produce a cockchafer like that?

    Tell England Ernest Raymond
  • Now he wanted to know exactly how often his son had visited the cockchafer?

  • Certain larv, such as those of the cockchafer, eat away the roots of vegetables, and so destroy the harvests.

    The Insect World Louis Figuier
  • "They turned into cockchafer beetles, as a matter of fact," said Ulyth drily.

  • The seal cries in the reeds like the voice of a weeping child, and the cockchafer buzzes on the white wall of the hut.

  • This is a very poor result, if compared with the strength of the cockchafer.

    The Insect World Louis Figuier
British Dictionary definitions for cockchafer


any of various Old World scarabaeid beetles, esp Melolontha melolontha of Europe, whose larvae feed on crops and grasses Also called May beetle, May bug
Word Origin
C18: from cock1 + chafer
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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