Definition of maggot in US English:



  • 1A soft-bodied legless larva, especially that of a fly found in decaying matter.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One University of North Texas graduate student is using black fly maggots to compost that garbage.’
    • ‘He wanted to know what we did to keep root maggots out of radishes.’
    • ‘Fruit flies, such as the apple maggot and the cherry fruit flies, are also common orchard pests.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘White root maggot may attack a portion of your crop.’
    • ‘Centuries after the technique was pioneered, maggots are being used at Harrogate District Hospital in larvae therapy, to remove unhealthy tissue from wounds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This insect is the maggot of the eggs laid by sawflies or carpenter bees in the freshly-cut cane of the rose after pruning.’
    • ‘This year flea beetles, white grubs, seed corn maggots and wireworms generated a lot of discussion.’
    • ‘The Lonicera fly evolved as a hybrid of two existing U.S. species, the blueberry maggot and the snowberry maggot, according to the study.’
    • ‘There are ways to deal with coddling moths and apple maggots.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Flea beetles and root maggots, the two major radish pests, can be avoided by placing floating row cover over the bed.’
    • ‘Within days fly maggots are born and release an enzyme that decapitates their ant host.’
    • ‘There are three problems when growing garlic: drainage, gophers, and onion root maggots.’
    grub, larva
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    1. 1.1Fishing Bait consisting of a maggot or maggots.
      • ‘Try fishing on the drop with maggot for the roach or on the bottom with chopped worm for the skimmers.’
      • ‘I am certain that more bream were caught on carp type baits rather than traditional bream baits like worm, caster or maggot.’
      • ‘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 fancy.

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