Definition of Odonata in US English:


plural noun

  • 1An order of predatory insects that comprises the dragonflies and damselflies. They have long, slender bodies, two pairs of membranous wings, large compound eyes, and aquatic larvae.

    • ‘The Odonata appeared for the first time in the Permian.’
    • ‘We have already noted that several species of Odonata respond to long photoperiods in spring by accelerating development.’
    • ‘In contrast to YOY perch, predator-sensitive prey in the diet were dominated by Trichoptera, Odonata, and Coleoptera larvae.’
    • ‘Associated fossils include other disarticulated insect remains such as Diptera (true flies) and Odonata (dragonflies).’
    • ‘Two Episodes in the seasonal regulation of Odonata can be distinguished.’
    1. 1.1 Insects of the order Odonata; dragonflies and damselflies.
      • ‘Hence, dominance is synonymous for resource holding potential, a term more commonly used in previous studies on odonata.’


Modern Latin (plural), formed irregularly from Greek odōn (variant of odous) ‘tooth’, with reference to the insect's mandibles.