from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various insects chiefly of the family Cicadidae, having a broad head, membranous wings, and in the male a pair of resonating organs that produce a characteristic high-pitched, droning sound.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A popular name of many insects belonging to different orders, Hemiptera and Orthoptera, which make a rhythmical creaking or chirping noise; a locust, grasshopper, or cricket. In this sense the word has no definite zoölogical signification.
  • noun In zoology: [capitalized] The typical genus of homopterous hemipterous insects of the family Cicadidæ.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) Any species of the genus Cicada or of the family Cicadidae. They are large hemipterous insects, with nearly transparent wings. The male makes a shrill sound by peculiar organs in the under side of the abdomen, consisting of a pair of stretched membranes, acted upon by powerful muscles. A noted American species (Cicada septendecim) is called the seventeen year locust. Another common species is the dogday cicada.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun any of several insects of the order Hemiptera, suborder Auchenorrhyncha, with small eyes wide apart on the head and transparent well-veined wings.

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

  • noun stout-bodied insect with large membranous wings; male has drum-like organs for producing a high-pitched drone


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

[Middle English, from Latin cicāda.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Borrowed from Latin cicada.



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  • Pronounced sih-kay-dah.

    December 6, 2007

  • The cicada sat poised

    On your outstretched finger

    As you rushed into the house

    On that night when the moon painted shadows in the woods.

    "Come see," you said

    Settling into the couch

    Eyes fixed on the opalescent carapace

    As if your gaze would hold it there.

    An almost imperceptible pinch.

    The carapace burst open

    And the cicada left its perch

    As your eyes tried in vain to bring it back.

    "I must have scared it off," you said.

    But l know it wanted only to be with you.

    November 14, 2008