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[mag-uh t] /ˈmæg ət/
a soft-bodied, legless larva of certain flies.
Archaic. an odd fancy; whim.
Origin of maggot
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English magot, magat, unexplained variant of maddock, Middle English mathek < Old Norse mathkr; akin to Danish maddik maggot, Old English matha, mathu grub, maggot, Old High German mado maggot Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for maggot
Historical Examples
  • I always suspected it; it's a maggot in the brain and nothing more; what a rotten lot of people!

    The Possessed Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • He staggered to his feet, and saw that his visitors were the two villains, maggot and Bloodhound.

    City Crimes Greenhorn
  • Front region of maggot of Blow-fly (Calliphora) showing diagrammatically the imaginal discs, which are shaded.

    The Life-Story of Insects Geo. H. Carpenter
  • She's got some maggot in her brain, and she wants to air it.

    Sarah's School Friend May Baldwin
  • He had seen a great vision and was as a god, and he could feel only profound and awful pity for this maggot of a man.

    Martin Eden Jack London
  • maggot explained how he had obtained the jewels, and then asked what they were worth.

  • maggot led the way, and he walked straight to the old shaft where his hopeful son lay.

  • When grown with the former, they are said to be less affected by the maggot.

  • The maggot isolates itself to the best of its power and withdraws from the garish day before contracting into a little keg.

    The Life of the Fly J. Henri Fabre
  • My aunt Jane would not come for some maggot or other; and as for Jem!

    Mary Barton Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
British Dictionary definitions for maggot


the soft limbless larva of dipterous insects, esp the housefly and blowfly, occurring in decaying organic matter
(rare) a fancy or whim
Word Origin
C14: from earlier mathek; related to Old Norse mathkr worm, Old English matha, Old High German mado grub
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 maggot

late 15c., probably an unexplained variant of Middle English maðek, from Old English maða "maggot, grub," from Proto-Germanic *mathon (cf. Old Norse maðkr, Old Saxon matho, Middle Dutch, Dutch made, Old High German mado, German Made, Gothic maþa "maggot"). Figurative use "whim, fancy, crotchet" is 1620s, from the notion of a maggot in the brain.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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maggot in Medicine

maggot mag·got (māg'ət)
The legless, soft-bodied, wormlike larva of any of various flies of the order Diptera, often found in decaying matter.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for maggot



A white person; ofay: Maggot: street slang for anyone white (1980s+ Black)

Related Terms

enough to gag a maggot

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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