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aphid

[ey-fid, af-id]
noun
any of numerous tiny soft-bodied insects of the family Aphididae of worldwide distribution, that suck the sap from the stems and leaves of various plants, some developing wings when overcrowding occurs: an important pest of many fruit trees and vegetable crops.
Also called plant louse.


Origin:
1880–85; back formation from aphides, plural of aphis

aphidian [uh-fid-ee-uhn] , adjective, noun
aphidious, adjective
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World English Dictionary
aphid (ˈeɪfɪd)
 
n
greenfly See also blackfly Also called: plant louse any of the small homopterous insects of the family Aphididae, which feed by sucking the juices from plants
 
[C19: back formation from aphides, plural of aphis]
 
aphidian
 
adj, —n
 
a'phidious
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

aphid
1884, Anglicized from Mod.L. aphides, pl. of aphis, coined by Linnaeus (1758), though where he got it and why he applied it to the plant louse are mysteries. The theory favored by OED as "least improbable" is that it derives from the pl. of Gk. apheides "unsparing, lavishly bestowed," in ref. either
to the "prodigious rate of production" of the insects or their voracity. They also are known as ant-cows.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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