Definition of cockchafer in English:

cockchafer

noun

  • A large brown European beetle which flies at dusk and is a destructive plant pest, both as an adult and a larva.

    Melolontha melolontha, family Scarabaeidae

    Also called May bug
    • ‘What a pleasant change from the labourer's unvarying meal of bread, lard, and bacon would be a good dish of fried cockchafers or grasshoppers!’
    • ‘At peak abundance, cockchafers reached densities of more than 50 individuals per meter of twig on some fruit trees and on shrubs.’

Origin

Early 18th century: from cock (expressing size or vigour) + chafer.

Pronunciation

cockchafer

/ˈkɒkˌtʃeɪfə/