Definitions

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tubular protruding organ for laying eggs.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.

from The 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.

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

  • n. egg-laying tubular structure at the end of the abdomen in many female insects and some fishes

Etymologies

From Latin ovum ("egg") + Latin positor ("one who deposits"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • He says female cicadas use a sword-like organ, called an ovipositor, to slice into small tree branches and insert their eggs.

    Cicadas Swarm Wide Portions of US

  • But they still retain the ovipositor, which is converted into a sting, and supplied with a poisonous liquid to eject afterwards into the wound.

    Falling in Love With Other Essays on More Exact Branches of Science

  • The ovipositor, which is about four-tenths of an inch in length, is plunged obliquely and up to the hilt into the twig.

    Social Life in the Insect World

  • Honeybee Stinger - The stinger is located on female honeybees at the end of the abdomen and is part of the ovipositor, which is an egg-laying device.

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  • Females have an organ called ovipositor where eggs are deposited.

    CreationWiki - Recent changes [en]

  • 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.

    Parasite Rex

  • 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.

    Aktuellste Pressemeldungen der PresseBox

  • 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.

    Regretsy – From the Mailbag

  • 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.

    Movie Review: Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem

  • It could probably insert its ovipositor into one of the dead lilac branches.

    THE ANTHOLOGIST

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Comments

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  • Can be used as a weapon as well (see eurytoma wasp)

    July 22, 2009

  • in the context of insect reproduction, this word is mildly amusing, but when I think if it in terms of positing eggs more generally, it makes me laugh

    December 9, 2006