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wood louse

noun, Zoology
any of certain small, terrestrial crustaceans of the genera Oniscus, Armadillidium, etc., having a flattened, elliptical body.
Origin of wood louse
1605-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for wood-louse
Historical Examples
  • The caterpillar, which feeds on the elm, is wood-louse shaped; pea-green, barred with yellow; head black.

    British Butterfiles W. S. Coleman
  • Nobody that would not stoop to save a wood-louse in his path can claim to love.

    Sylvia & Michael Compton Mackenzie
  • “It is astonishing what a predilection for peaches the wood-louse has,” said the doctor, resuming his seat.

    The Weathercock George Manville Fenn
  • "A man who lives like a wood-louse would be sure to look like that," he added.

    Z. Marcas Honore de Balzac
  • Onisciform: shaped like a wood-louse, Oniscus sp.; applied to certain Lycaenid and other caterpillars.

  • Why not an earwig, or a black-beetle, or a wood-louse, or a centipede?

  • Finally they came across the wood-louse, whom they found mentioned in the letter as "maid-servant."

    Italian Popular Tales Thomas Frederick Crane
  • There was once a wood-louse, who, being dissatisfied with his position, called himself a Pterygobranchiate.

    The Hypocrite Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • He picked up a wood-louse that was creeping along a piece of bark: "What is the difference between Caesar and this?"

  • Many of these Crustaceans could roll themselves into balls, like the wood-louse (Figs. 23 and 25).

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