One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Either of two destructive diseases of pear trees, one caused by a bacterium, Erwinia amylovora, which turns the leaves rapidly brown (also called fire-blight), and the other caused by any of several beetles which bore into the bark.
2A beetle which causes the latter.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Ebenezer Emmons (1799–1863).
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