Definition of weevil in English:


Pronunciation /ˈwiːvɪl//ˈwiːv(ə)l/


  • 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.

    • ‘This particular species of weevil is a pest on peas.’
    • ‘There was apparently no organization tasked with looking at current and potential effects of the weevil on cotton crops throughout the United States.’
    • ‘The weevil larvae feed at the base of the flower and interfere with seed production.’
    • ‘Fungal diseases cause infected larvae to crawl to the tops of the plants where the dead weevils will be easy to see.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Although they are more usually a problem with plants grown in pots, vine weevils will attack plants growing out in the garden.’
    • ‘The weevil larvae become adults in 17 to 28 days, depending on the weather.’
    • ‘Alfalfa weevils have been serious pests of alfalfa in Nebraska for some time.’
    • ‘I was surprised when the Royal Horticultural Society named the vine weevil as the worst pest in the garden last year.’
    • ‘Weevils bore through the stem and eat the pith within, and beetle larvae bore through the roots.’
    • ‘Researchers at some locations focus on beneficial insects like wasps to control insect pests such as alfalfa weevils or gypsy moths.’
    • ‘Hazelnuts are prone to attack from a pest called the nut weevil.’
    • ‘Fisher believes this new device will revolutionize detection of root-feeding pests like the weevil.’
    • ‘The alfalfa weevil larvae spend nearly all their time on the plant.’
    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’.