weevil

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

English[edit]

A boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis), a weevil (sense 2) that feeds on cotton buds and flowers

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English wevel, from Old English wifel (beetle), from Proto-Germanic *wibilaz, from Proto-Indo-European *webʰel, from *webʰ-, *h₁webʰ- (to wave, to weave), said to be from the woven appearance of a weevil’s larval case;[1] see also wave and weave.

Compare Old Saxon goldwivel, wivel (glowworm); Middle Low German wevel; Old High German wibil, wipil (modern German Wiebel (beetle; chafer)); Lithuanian vãbalas (beetle; weevil); Old Norse vifill, as in tordyfill (dung beetle, scarab) (whence Dutch tortwevel; Icelandic tordýfill, Norwegian tordivel, Old English tordwifel, Swedish tordyfvel); dialectal Russian ве́блица (véblica, intestinal worm).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

weevil (plural weevils)

  1. Any of several small herbivorous beetles in the superfamily Curculionoidea, many having a distinctive snout.
  2. Any of several small herbivorous beetles in the family Curculionidae belonging to the superfamily Curculionoidea.
  3. Any of several similar but more distantly related beetles such as the biscuit weevil (Stegobium paniceum).
  4. (figuratively, derogatory) A loathsome person.
    • 1950, Jack Lindsay, Fires in Smithfield. A Novel of Mary Tudor’s Reign, London: The Bodley Head, OCLC 560679576, page 201:
      But you accuse other men of villainy with too easy a tongue, you weevil. I have never wanted you in this matter, and I have said so.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

References[edit]

  1. ^ weevil, n.”, in OED Online, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1926.