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

  • noun Any of various moths of the family Geometridae, having caterpillars commonly known as inchworms that move by looping the body in alternate contractions and expansions.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In entomology, pertaining to the moths of the section Geometrina, whose larvæ are measuring-worms.
  • noun A moth of the family Geometridœ or section Geometrina, or its larva; a measuring-worm.

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

  • adjective (Zoöl.) Pertaining or belonging to the Geometridæ.
  • noun (Zoöl.) One of numerous genera and species of moths, of the family Geometridæ; -- so called because their larvæ (called loopers, measuring worms, spanworms, and inchworms) creep in a looping manner, as if measuring. Many of the species are injurious to agriculture, as the cankerworms.

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

  • noun zoology Any of the various moths of the family Geometridae.
  • noun A larva of such moth, which when walking alternate legs and prolegs, giving the appearance of measuring.

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

  • noun slender-bodied broad-winged moth whose larvae are called measuring worms


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

[From New Latin Geōmetridae, family name, from Latin geōmetrēs, geometrician, land-measurer (the family being so named because the caterpillars seem to measure the surface on which they crawl by the length of their bodies), from Greek, from geōmetrein, to measure land; see geometry.]



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