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From Middle English locust, from Latin locusta (locust, crustacean, lobster) either directly or through Anglo-Norman locuste and Middle French locuste.[1]



locust (plural locusts)

  1. Any of the grasshoppers, usually swarming, in the family Acrididae that are very destructive to crops and other vegetation.
    1. especially, the migratory locust (Locusta migratoria)
    2. American locust (Schistocerca americana) (does not swarm)
    3. Australian plague locust (Chortoicetes terminifera)
    4. Bombay locust (Nomadacris succincta)
    5. brown locust (Locustana pardalina)
    6. desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria)
    7. Italian locust (Calliptamus italicus)
    8. Moroccan locust (Dociostaurus maroccanus)
    9. red locust (Nomadacris septemfasciata)
    10. Rocky Mountain locust (Melanoplus spretus) – extinct
    11. spur-throated locust (Austracris guttulosa) - Australia
    12. Tree locusts (Anacridium spp.)
      1. Anacridium aegyptium
      2. Anacridium melanorhodon
      3. Anacridium wernerellum
  2. A locust tree.

Usage notes[edit]

  • sometimes confused with locus



locust (third-person singular simple present locusts, present participle locusting, simple past and past participle locusted)

  1. (intransitive) To come in a swarm.
    • Alfred, Lord Tennyson
      This Philip and the black-faced swarms of Spain,
      The hardest, cruellest people in the world,
      Come locusting upon us, eat us up,
      Confiscate lands, goods, money []


  1. ^ locust”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford: Oxford University Press, launched 2000.