from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of various beetles of the genus Brachinus and related genera that expel an acrid, volatile secretion from the abdomen when disturbed, making an audible sound.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A beetle whose defence mechanism enables it to eject a hot aqueous mixture of chemicals at predators. They come from a number of subfamilies: Carabinae (e.g., Brachinus crepitans), Metriinae (e.g., Stenaptinus insignis) and Paussinae (e.g., Goniotropis nicaraguensis).
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. a kind of beetle (Brachinus crepitans), so called because, when disturbed, it makes an explosive discharge of a pungent and acrid vapor from its anal glands. The name is applied to other related species, as the Brachinus displosor, which can produce ten or twelve explosions successively. The common American species is Brachinus fumans.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The common name of many coleopterous insects, family Carabidæ and genera Brachinus and Aptinus, found under stones. When irritated, they are apt to expel violently from the anus a pungent, acrid fluid, accompanied by a slight sound.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. beetle that ejects audibly a pungent vapor when disturbed
Sorry, no etymologies found.