Definitions

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

  • n.pl. The cast-off skins or coverings of various organisms, such as the shells of crabs or the external coverings of the larvae and nymphs of insects.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plural form of exuvia.
  • n. The coverings of an animal that have been shed or cast off, particularly the molted exoskeletons of arthropods.
  • n. Roman military term for weaponry and equipment stripped from the person of a foe; booty.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.pl. Cast skins, shells, or coverings of animals; any parts of animals which are shed or cast off, as the skins of snakes, the shells of lobsters, etc.
  • n.pl. The fossil shells and other remains which animals have left in the strata of the earth.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Cast-off skins, shells, or other coverings of animals; any parts of animals which are shed or sloughed off, as the skins of caterpillars, the shells of lobsters, the cuticle of snakes, the feathers of birds.
  • Skins of animals artificially removed and prepared for preservation.

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

  • n. cast-off skins or coverings of various organisms during ecdysis

Etymologies

Latin, from exuere, to take off.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin exuō ("cast off, undress"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • If I understand what was being said correctly, then "exuviae" classical meaning - armour stripped from a dead enemy, or skin taken from or shed by an animal is correctly a plural term that is used as a singular, in the same way that English speakers say "I take off my clothes" and never "I take off my cloth".

    Parade of cicada exuviae

  • Just out of exuviae, wings still folded, photo OK but not great.

    From Twitter 04-20-2010

  • While the body of the poem often stands in for the body of the poet, acting as a surrogate for the experience of such a biography, the body of the text in this case has gone missing, leaving behind only the exuviae of the work itself — the set of afterthoughts found in annotations and digressions, allegedly presented after the fact by experts, who have prepared this text for scholastic discussion.

    Quick Review 05 : Christian Bök : Harriet the Blog : The Poetry Foundation

  • I saw these exuviae* of cicadas last nite underneath one of the branches of a large pine tree I have in my backyard.

    Parade of cicada exuviae

  • SNAIL'S TALES: Parade of cicada exuviae skip to main

    Parade of cicada exuviae

  • Now, throughout the greater part of this long series of stratified rocks are scattered, sometimes very abundantly, multitudes of organic remains, the fossilized exuviae of animals and plants which lived and died while the mud of which the rocks are formed was yet soft ooze, and could receive and bury them.

    Essays

  • The rarity of human intrusion was evidenced by the mazes of rabbit-runs, the feathers of shy birds, the exuviae of reptiles; as also by the well-worn paths of squirrels down the sides of trunks, and thence horizontally away.

    Two on a Tower

  • Its throes will heave our exuviae from their graves.

    Walden

  • Again, at each epoch, the whole earth was no doubt, as now, more or less the theatre of life, and as the successive generations of each species died, their exuviae and preservable parts would be deposited over every portion of the then existing seas and oceans, which we have reason for supposing to have been more, rather than less, extensive than at present.

    On the law which has regulated the introduction of new species

  • In short, he imitated the serpents, who cast off their exuviae, that, being stripped of their old age, they may gather new strength.

    Commentary on Genesis - Volume 2

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  • The cast-off skins, shells, or other coverings (like insect coverings) of animals

    December 24, 2008