American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A tubular structure, usually concealed but sometimes extending outside the abdomen, with which many female insects deposit eggs.
- n. A similar organ of certain fishes.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The ovipositing organ with which many (especially hymenopterous, orthopterous, coleopterous, and dipterous) insects are provided, and by means of which they place their eggs in a position suitable for development. It forms the end of the abdomen, several of the rings or somites of which are specially modified for this purpose. It normally or usually consists of three pairs of rhabdites, the outer two pairs of which incase or sheathe the inner pair, and form an extensile tube, of very variable size and shape in different insects. It is sometimes longer than the body of the insect. In the terebrant hymenopters the ovipositor forms a saw or an auger (serra or terebra). In the aculeate hymenopters, as bees and wasps, the ovipositor is the sting or aculeus. In orthopters it is often conspicuous, as seen in the cut. Also called
oviscapt. See also cuts under canker-wormand Cecidomyia.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) The organ with which many insects and some other animals deposit their eggs. Some ichneumon files have a long ovipositor fitted to pierce the eggs or larvæ of other insects, in order to lay their own eggs within the same.
- n. egg-laying tubular structure at the end of the abdomen in many female insects and some fishes
- From Latin ovum ("egg") + Latin positor ("one who deposits"). (Wiktionary)
“He says female cicadas use a sword-like organ, called an ovipositor, to slice into small tree branches and insert their eggs.”
“But they still retain the ovipositor, which is converted into a sting, and supplied with a poisonous liquid to eject afterwards into the wound.”
“The ovipositor, which is about four-tenths of an inch in length, is plunged obliquely and up to the hilt into the twig.”
“Females have an organ called ovipositor where eggs are deposited.”
“Their stinger isn’t actually a stinger at all, though; it is actually called an ovipositor, and it delivers eggs—in some cases just a handful, in others hundreds.”
“The team's analysis showed the wood wasp's egg-laying 'ovipositor' to be divided into two elements, one side possessing cutting teeth and the other side equipped with pockets to remove the resulting debris.”
“I have to say that picture of the bronze medal winner in skants looks like an ovipositor with the TP roll being the recently laid egg.”
“The climax of the story [mild spoiler] is an inverted sex scene in which a female alien implants an embryo into a male human via an ovipositor.”
“It could probably insert its ovipositor into one of the dead lilac branches.”
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I'm always entertained by the terms @immerito tweets using the hashtag #termsfromtoday. As best I can tell, the tag emerged in mid 2011 after a brief flirtation with an alternate hashtag form. You'...
Some days, there will be a word. That word is the word of the day. Other days shall remain wordless. That's just the way things go.
Words gathered while reading Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov.
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