plural of elytron.
Dictionary.com Unabridged


noun, plural elytra [el-i-truh] .
one of the pair of hardened forewings of certain insects, as beetles, forming a protective covering for the posterior or flight wings.
Also called wing case, wing cover.

1745–55; < Neo-Latin < Greek élytron a covering

elytrous [el-i-truhs] , adjective


noun, plural elytra [el-i-truh] . Obsolete.

Latinized variant of elytron

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To elytra
World English Dictionary
elytron or elytrum (ˈɛlɪˌtrɒn, ˈɛlɪtrəm)
n , pl -tra
either of the horny front wings of beetles and some other insects, which cover and protect the hind wings
[C18: from Greek elutron sheath, covering]
elytrum or elytrum (ˈɛlɪˌtrɒn, ˈɛlɪtrəm, -trə)
[C18: from Greek elutron sheath, covering]
'elytroid or elytrum
'elytrous or elytrum

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1774, pl. of elytron, from Gk. elytron sheath.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
elytron   (ěl'ĭ-trŏn')  Pronunciation Key 

(click for larger image in new window)

Plural elytra
Either of the modified forewings of a beetle or related insect that encase the thin hind wings used in flight.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The elytra are marked with distinct white maculations.
Maculations are incomplete and join to form a broad white band along the
  lateral edge of the elytra.
Shiny silvery spots form two irregular bands crossing the elytra.
The sides of the elytra of males are nearly parallel whereas females are
  somewhat more broadly rounded.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature