Definition of oviposit in US English:



[no object]Zoology
  • (especially of an insect) lay an egg or eggs.

    ‘larger females have the potential to oviposit on a greater number of hosts’
    • ‘After mating, the female ceases light emission and oviposits and continues to hold her body near to the eggs.’
    • ‘Because they oviposit at high tide, their eggs incubate out of water, buried in the sand of some of the most heavily used urban beaches in this populous area.’
    • ‘Examples include butterflies ovipositing on host plants, beetles and flies on dung pats, parasitoid wasps on insect hosts, and many insects on seeds or fruit.’
    • ‘Females oviposit and larvae develop solely in the fruit.’
    • ‘Potential egg layers were given 10 days in the oviposition chambers to oviposit.’


Early 19th century: from ovi- ‘egg’ + Latin posit- ‘placed’ (from the verb ponere).