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[lep-i-dop-ter-uh s] /ˌlɛp ɪˈdɒp tər əs/
belonging or pertaining to the Lepidoptera, an order of insects comprising the butterflies, moths, and skippers, that in the adult state have four membranous wings more or less covered with small scales.
Also, lepidopteral.
Origin of lepidopterous
1790-1800; Lepidopter(a) + -ous
Related forms
nonlepidopteral, adjective
nonlepidopterous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for lepidopterous
  • They may be reared by collecting lepidopterous and dipterous pupae.
  • In addition, there is a potential direct risk to non-target lepidopterous species, including endangered species.
  • Fossil lepidopterous leaf mines demonstrate the age of some insect-plant relationships.
  • The use sites are all agricultural for use on growing plants to control lepidopterous pests.
  • The shipments consisted of stem-boring weevil, a leaf-feeding chrysomelid beetle and some lepidopterous caterpillars.
British Dictionary definitions for lepidopterous


noun (pl) -terans, -tera (-tərə)
any of numerous insects of the order Lepidoptera, typically having two pairs of wings covered with fragile scales, mouthparts specialized as a suctorial proboscis, and caterpillars as larvae: comprises the butterflies and moths
of, relating to, or belonging to the order Lepidoptera
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin lepidoptera, from lepido- + Greek pteron wing
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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