Definition of weevil in English:



  • 1A small beetle with an elongated snout, the larvae of which typically develop inside seeds, stems, or other plant parts. Many are pests of crops or stored foodstuffs.

    Also called snout beetle
    • ‘The weevil larvae feed at the base of the flower and interfere with seed production.’
    • ‘The alfalfa weevil larvae spend nearly all their time on the plant.’
    • ‘This particular species of weevil is a pest on peas.’
    • ‘Damage to stored grain by the lesser grain borer, rice weevil, red flour beetle, and rusty grain beetle costs the U.S. wheat industry about $500 million annually.’
    • ‘Weevils bore through the stem and eat the pith within, and beetle larvae bore through the roots.’
    • ‘I was surprised when the Royal Horticultural Society named the vine weevil as the worst pest in the garden last year.’
    • ‘Fungal diseases cause infected larvae to crawl to the tops of the plants where the dead weevils will be easy to see.’
    • ‘The weevil larvae become adults in 17 to 28 days, depending on the weather.’
    • ‘Researchers at some locations focus on beneficial insects like wasps to control insect pests such as alfalfa weevils or gypsy moths.’
    • ‘Alfalfa weevils have been serious pests of alfalfa in Nebraska for some time.’
    • ‘Fisher believes this new device will revolutionize detection of root-feeding pests like the weevil.’
    • ‘Although they are more usually a problem with plants grown in pots, vine weevils will attack plants growing out in the garden.’
    • ‘Hazelnuts are prone to attack from a pest called the nut weevil.’
    • ‘There was apparently no organization tasked with looking at current and potential effects of the weevil on cotton crops throughout the United States.’
    1. 1.1informal Any small insect that damages stored grain.
      • ‘Why was nothing was done to fumigate the grain and protect it from weevils?’


Old English wifel ‘beetle’, from a Germanic base meaning ‘move briskly’.