Definitions

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

  • n. Any of various European beetles of the family Scarabaeidae, especially Melolontha melolontha, which is destructive to plants.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of the large European beetles from the genus Melolontha that are destructive to vegetation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A beetle of the genus Melolontha (esp. Melolontha vulgaris) and allied genera; -- called also May bug, chafer, or dorbeetle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The popular name of a very common lamellicorn beetle of Europe, Melolontha vulgaris. Also called May-beetle, May-bug, dor-beetle, and dor-bug.
  • n. Any one of various similar or related beetles.

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

  • n. any of various large European beetles destructive to vegetation as both larvae and adult

Etymologies

Possibly cock1 + chafer.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The common beetle called cockchafer is here known only as the _oak-web_, and a smaller beetle as _fern-web_.

    Notes and Queries, Number 75, April 5, 1851 A Medium of Inter-communication for Literary Men, Artists, Antiquaries, Genealogists, etc.

  • A cockchafer came droning over the hedge and past us.

    The War of The Worlds

  • M. de Bargeton pervaded the house like a cockchafer; it never entered his head that his wife could wish to be alone with Lucien.

    Two Poets

  • His name was that of a tiny estate called les Canquoelles, a word meaning cockchafer in some districts, situated in the department of Vaucluse, whence he had come.

    Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

  • There you sit rustling my dress like a cockchafer in a paper-bag, and making me laugh with contempt.

    Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

  • Bargeton held him fast by this clue, as a child holds a cockchafer by a string.

    A Distinguished Provincial at Paris

  • I am safely ... my character is safely in his own bed, but it threatens to become his bride's bed too, so my reluctant bridegroom imagines sending his properly decked-out body to the wedding while he remains at home, unable to venture beyond his blankets, because -- well -- because he is a large beetle, a stag beetle or cockchafer, I think ...

    Archive 2006-07-01

  • The Signora spitted him, as a boy does a cockchafer on a cork, that she might enjoy the energetic agony of his gyrations.

    Barchester Towers

  • All this the signora understood, and felt much interest as she saw her cockchafer whirl round upon her pin.

    Barchester Towers

  • A cockchafer buzzed by, a moth flew in his face, the music stopped, and little Jon drew his head in.

    Awakening

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Comments

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  • "Five hundred and one million of what?" repeated the little prince, who never in his life let go of a question once he had asked it.

    The businessman raised his head.

    "During the fifty-four years that I have been living on this planet, I have only been disturbed three times. The first was twenty-two years ago by a cockschafer who dropped down from goodness knows where. He made the most awful noise and I made four errors in my sums. The second time was eleven years ago by an attack of rheumatism. I don't get enough exercise. I have no time for slacking. I'm a serious man. The third time... well this is it! As I was saying, five hundred and one million..."

    "Million of what?"

    -- Antoine De Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince (Indialog 2006): 58-9

    June 10, 2012

  • See dumbledore.

    June 24, 2010

  • "'And then if you will, Mr. MacKay, please see that each cell is provided with its own cat. ... Is there something wrong, MacKay?'

    'No, sir,' MacKay replied slowly. 'Only the wee brown beasties do keep down the cockchafers. And with respect, sir, I dinna think the men would care to have a cat takin' all their rats.'

    Grey stared at the man, feeling mildly queasy.

    'The prisoners eat the rats?' ...

    'Only when they're lucky enough to catch one, sir,' MacKay said. 'Perhaps the cats would be a help wi' that, after all. Will that be all for tonight, sir?'"
    —Diana Gabaldon, Voyager (NY: Dell, 1994), 130

    January 14, 2010

  • one who practices an extreme form of cockteasing … oh yeah, and a kind of beetle.

    August 20, 2008

  • Well, we do seem to have a few juvenile humorists around here lately.

    August 20, 2008

  • The use of this word really chafes my ass.

    August 20, 2008

  • Tank, you naughty boy!

    August 20, 2008

  • "That really chafes my cock!" is my new catchphrase.

    August 20, 2008

  • Haven't read the definition, but oh! that sure sounds painful.

    July 15, 2008