A large brown European beetle that flies at dusk and often crashes into lighted windows. The adults are damaging to foliage and flowers, and the larvae are a pest of cereal and grass roots.→ chafer
- ‘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.’
Early 18th century: from cock (expressing size or vigor) + chafer.