Definition of Lepidoptera in English:


plural noun

  • 1An order of insects that comprises the butterflies and moths. They have four large scale-covered wings that bear distinctive markings, and larvae that are caterpillars.

    • ‘The insect order Lepidoptera, with as many as 100,000 species, is second only to the Coleoptera, the beetles.’
    • ‘Both of these insects reside in the order Lepidoptera.’
    • ‘The species of insects studied prior to this study were from 11 orders, but the vast majority were from four orders: Lepidoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, and Hemiptera.’
    • ‘The most speciose insect orders like the Coleoptera, Diptera and Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) tend to have small genome sizes with very few or no exceptions.’
    • ‘Butterflies and moths make up the biological order Lepidoptera.’
    1. 1.1 Insects of the order Lepidoptera.
      ‘the larvae of a number of lepidoptera feed on the leaves’
      • ‘Defoliation by lepidoptera can induce cyanogenesis in some plants resulting in cyanide levels high enough to kill cattle.’
      • ‘Small flowers and red petals suggest pollination by small diptera or lepidoptera, but the flowers do not appear to produce nectar.’
      • ‘There's already an impressive count of spiders and beetles and bees and wasps, not to mention a whole sub-section of the local lepidoptera.’
      • ‘Anyone interested in lepidoptera, entomology, natural history, and probably even art and photography will enjoy the photographs.’
      • ‘Spying it on a map, I imagined meadows full of pretty winged lepidoptera.’


Modern Latin (plural), from Greek lepis, lepid- ‘scale’ + pteron ‘wing’.