One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large homopterous insect with long transparent wings, occurring chiefly in warm countries. The male cicada makes a loud shrill droning noise by vibrating two membranes on its abdomen.
Family Cicadidae, suborder Homoptera: many genera
- ‘The hum of the cicadas was softening to a barely audible moan.’
- ‘But even over the noise, I could hear the monotonous drone of a cicada.’
- ‘They also occasionally eat insects, especially grasshoppers, cicadas and crickets.’
- ‘Their wings make a whine much like the sound of a cicada.’
- ‘Today, over a breakfast of orange juice and cereal, the two of them sit on Michael's back patio in the summer and listen to the cicadas sing.’
- ‘A crescent moon had just risen though it was not yet dark, and the cicadas were singing.’
- ‘It is a jungle resort where the hill villas are surrounded by lush greenery containing the sounds of screeching monkeys and chattering cicadas.’
- ‘The sounds of crickets and cicadas filled the air in the campground.’
- ‘It's getting darker earlier, the cicadas are singing, and here we are into September.’
- ‘A lone cicada will sound as loud and true as any brass band practising in an empty concert hall.’
- ‘The dog-day cicada is dark with green markings.’
- ‘He goes for walk one day and witnesses a fight between a cicada and a much smaller praying mantis.’
- ‘Watch a kite sweep the skies for large insects such as grasshoppers, cicadas and dragonflies.’
- ‘They are nothing like the cicadas, which pop up every 17 years and make one heck of a racket, then disappear quietly.’
- ‘The air seemed to beat against my ear drums, vibrating with the piercing rattle of insects - cicadas, grasshoppers and huge black beetles.’
- ‘The cicadas make themselves known on these hot days and they're quite loud from the casuarina trees immediately behind the sand.’
- ‘Unless you are a cicada or a mosquito, Washington DC is not considered the destination of choice at this time of year.’
- ‘If cicadas come out when few predators are around, they flourish.’
- ‘On land, an unseen cicada had begun its shrill noise.’
- ‘She folds her arms across her chest, letting the crickets and cicadas hidden in the garden fill up the silence.’
Late Middle English: from Latin cicada, cicala.
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