Definition of maggot in English:

maggot

noun

  • 1A soft-bodied legless larva of a fly or other insect, found in decaying matter.

    ‘the maggots attack the roots of the developing cabbages’
    • ‘Fruit flies, such as the apple maggot and the cherry fruit flies, are also common orchard pests.’
    • ‘It appears that these seed applied insecticides and liquid insecticides will be effective in protecting seeds from seed feeding insects such as wireworms and seedcorn maggots.’
    • ‘Flea beetles and root maggots, the two major radish pests, can be avoided by placing floating row cover over the bed.’
    • ‘Although the risk of injury from seedling insects such as wireworms and seed corn maggots is reduced with a later planting, there is no post-emergence treatment for these insects.’
    • ‘Root maggots in the roots of cabbage may retard the growth of the plant or it may wilt and even die.’
    • ‘Because fruit and vegetable waste goes in the brown bin and sits there for up to two weeks, maggots and fruit flies end up in it.’
    • ‘The changes that occur at metamorphosis can be rapid and dramatic, the classic examples being the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into an adult butterfly, a maggot into a fly, and a tadpole into a frog.’
    • ‘One University of North Texas graduate student is using black fly maggots to compost that garbage.’
    • ‘Centuries after the technique was pioneered, maggots are being used at Harrogate District Hospital in larvae therapy, to remove unhealthy tissue from wounds.’
    • ‘Even if most people don't care to eat black radish, cabbage maggots sure love it and without a row cover a marketable crop can be almost impossible to achieve.’
    • ‘He wanted to know what we did to keep root maggots out of radishes.’
    • ‘There are ways to deal with coddling moths and apple maggots.’
    • ‘This year flea beetles, white grubs, seed corn maggots and wireworms generated a lot of discussion.’
    • ‘These greenish larvae are typical fly maggots in appearance; legless, broadest at the tail end and tapering to a point at the head, with hook-like mouthparts.’
    • ‘This insect is the maggot of the eggs laid by sawflies or carpenter bees in the freshly-cut cane of the rose after pruning.’
    • ‘The Lonicera fly evolved as a hybrid of two existing U.S. species, the blueberry maggot and the snowberry maggot, according to the study.’
    • ‘Within days fly maggots are born and release an enzyme that decapitates their ant host.’
    • ‘Rat-tailed maggots are the larvae of the drone fly and, in order to pupate the larvae, look for a dry place and start migrating.’
    • ‘White root maggot may attack a portion of your crop.’
    • ‘There are three problems when growing garlic: drainage, gophers, and onion root maggots.’
    grub, larva
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Fishing mass noun Bait consisting of a maggot or maggots.
      ‘these sections produced a few good roach to maggot’
      • ‘I am certain that more bream were caught on carp type baits rather than traditional bream baits like worm, caster or maggot.’
      • ‘Try fishing on the drop with maggot for the roach or on the bottom with chopped worm for the skimmers.’
      • ‘The closest you can get to fishing with a natural bait for these timid tench is with the humble maggot and redworm.’
      • ‘I did intend using maggot as one of the main baits but thought pre-baiting regularly with them might encourage too many of the water's small perch into the swim.’
  • 2archaic A whimsical or strange idea.

    • ‘"You know, Ruth," he said, "I don't wish to say anything against Isaac, and I don't want to make you uneasy, but you know as well as I do that he has a strange maggot in his brain.’
    • ‘There's a strange maggot hath got into their brains, which possesseth them with a kind of vertigo, and it reigns in the pulpit more than anywhere else, for some of our preachmen are grown dog mad, there's a worm got into their tongues as well as their heads.’
    impulse, urge, notion, fancy, whimsy, foible, idea, caprice, conceit, vagary, kink, megrim, crotchet, craze, fad, passion, inclination, bent
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • act the maggot

    • informal Behave in a foolishly playful way.

      ‘we'd all walk in a line behind him, acting the maggot, you know, imitating him’
      • ‘I'm not being lazy, I promise - my computer is seriously acting the maggot.’
      • ‘Are you going to act the maggot, and get yourself in trouble?’
      • ‘He wasn't alone: the Dáil had an end-of-term feel about it, and there was a goodish amount of giddiness and a lot of general acting the maggot.’
      • ‘If you want to ‘act the maggot’ in Castlebar you are going to end up in court.’
      • ‘Mud, rain, music, people acting the maggot - in fact there was only one thing missing from this year's festival, sadly - the late great John Peel.’

Origin

Late Middle English: perhaps an alteration of dialect maddock, from Old Norse mathkr, of Germanic origin.

Pronunciation

maggot

/ˈmaɡət/