Definition of noctuid in US English:



  • A moth of a large family (Noctuidae) whose members typically have dull forewings and pale or colorful hind wings.

    Also called owlet
    • ‘Induction deterred herbivory by noctuids and aphids, and increased the probability of plant survival.’
    • ‘Further, extending our study, we also tested the conservation of a selected number of loci in different lepidopteran insects, including B. mandarina, the nearest wild relative to silkworm, a group of saturniids, and a noctuid.’
    • ‘There aren't very large numbers of macro moths certainly nowhere near the diversity we see in New England, a few noctuids, some small pyralids, and a handful of geometrids.’


Late 19th century: from modern Latin Noctuidae (plural), based on Latin noctua ‘night owl’.