Definitions

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

  • n. Any of numerous small, rounded, usually brightly colored beetles of the family Coccinellidae, often reddish with black spots and feeding primarily on insect pests, such as scale insects and aphids. Also called lady beetle, ladybird.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. any beetle of the Coccinellidae family of beetles, typically having a round shape and a colorful shell.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Same as ladybird.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A ladybird: the more common name in the United States and in some parts of England.

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

  • n. small round bright-colored and spotted beetle that usually feeds on aphids and other insect pests

Etymologies

Probably from its seven spots being considered a symbol of the seven sorrows of the Virgin Mary.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From lady +‎ bug, the “lady” here referring to Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. Compare German Marienkäfer. (Wiktionary)

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