Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. See cicada.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A cicada.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A cicada. See cicada.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A cicada.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. stout-bodied insect with large membranous wings; male has drum-like organs for producing a high-pitched drone

Etymologies

Italian, from Latin cicāda.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian cicala and Occitan cicala. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Everything that lived or grew, was oppressed by the glare; except the lizard, passing swiftly over rough stone walls, and the cicala, chirping his dry hot chirp, like a rattle.

    Little Dorrit

  • Then the LUCCIOLA, the fire-fly of Tuscany, was seen to flash its sudden sparks among the foliage, while the cicala, with its shrill note, became more clamorous than even during the noon-day heat, loving best the hour when the English beetle, with less offensive sound, winds

    The Mysteries of Udolpho

  • Already a blast of heat was rising over the land and the rasping cries of the cicala fretted their talk; and Caterina bade him follow her down into the _voto_ -- the vast, cool, underground chambers which, for the patricians of Cyprus, made life possible during this heated term, between the freshness of the morning and the comfort of the evening shadows.

    The Royal Pawn of Venice A Romance of Cyprus

  • And it resounded with the notes of the male Kokila and of the shrill cicala.

    The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Translated into English Prose Adi Parva

  • It resembles the flitting of some gipsy, or rather it reminds me of an engraving in a book of fables I owned in my childhood: the whole thing is exactly like the slender wardrobe and the long guitar which the cicala who had sung all the summer, carried upon her back when she knocked at the door of her neighbor the ant.

    The French Immortals Series — Complete

  • The complaint of the cicala, torn away by shepherds from its harmless green life of song and dew among the leaves, and the poem bidding the blackbird leave the dangerous oak, where, with its breast against a spray, it pours out its clear music, [9] are probably of

    Select Epigrams from the Greek Anthology

  • The sound of the river and of the cicala is all the noise we hear.

    The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning

  • You are to hear a voice that puts to silence all others, as the trumpet the flute, as the cicala the bee, as the choir the tuning-fork.

    Works of Lucian of Samosata — Volume 03

  • After my first night under the stars -- wondrous night of wakefulness and hopeful music, throughout which I lay entranced at the foot of a wooded hill and was never for a moment uncompanioned by nightingale, cicala and firefly -- I began to suffer from footsoreness, a bodily affliction against which romance, that certain salve for the maladies of the soul, is no remedy, or very little.

    The Fool Errant

  • A silence fell upon the party, so profound that the cicala in the dry hedge shrilled to pierce the ear.

    The Life and Death of Richard Yea-and-Nay

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Comments

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  • I believe Safire's suggested pronunciation is the Americanized pronunciation of cicala.

    January 19, 2010

  • FFS Misfire, that's pathetic. Most poets prefer getting foreign pronunciations right.

    January 19, 2010

  • "Poetry lovers will note that poets prefer the Italian word cicala, pronounced si-KAH-la, to the Latin cicada." Wm. Safire, Coming to Terms

    January 19, 2010

  • "In a sea-side house to the farther south,
    Where the baked cicalas die of drouth,
    And one sharp tree--'tis a cypress--stands,
    By the many hundred years red-rusted,
    Rough iron-spiked, ripe fruit-o'er-crusted,
    My sentinel to guard the sands
    To the water's edge. ..."

    -from De Gustibus--

    January 14, 2010