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

  • noun Any of numerous butterflies of the subfamily Theclinae, having transverse streaks on the undersurface of the wings and fine, hairlike projections on the hind wings.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One of the small dark butterflies of the genus Thecla; a theclan: so called from the minute hair-like appendages of the hind wings. The green hairstreak is T. rubi; the black, T. pruni; there are many others.

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

  • noun A butterfly of the genus Thecla

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

  • noun Any of many butterflies, of the subfamily Theclinae, that have hairlike projections on the back wings.

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

  • noun small butterflies having striped markings under the wings


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The point was brought home to me last summer when I saw a purple hairstreak.

    Country diary: Claxton, Norfolk

  • The purple hairstreak is a glorious but relatively small butterfly strongly associated with oaks.

    Country diary: Claxton, Norfolk

  • The purple emperor may have eluded us, but this purple hairstreak is a rewarding compensation.

    Country diary: Fermyn Wood, Northamptonshire

  • When Matthew Oates, the National Trust's roving butterfly expert, first described this affliction, it sounded quite pleasant: by August, butterfly lovers are so knackered, all they can do is sit in an armchair and wait for the last butterfly of summer, the brown hairstreak, to descend from an ash tree.

    How I became a lepidopterist

  • It seems extraordinary how I could have passed 30 years in the middle of purple hairstreak country having only seen a singleton.

    Country diary: Claxton, Norfolk

  • Wetter areas are home to the silken surfaces of green-veined whites, while some heathlands host the dazzling green hairstreak.

    Are butterflies the UK's most beautiful endangered species? | Dan Flenley

  • As if to confirm this, a green hairstreak butterfly appeared and its green-gold brilliance together with the cowslips seemed to fill the column of air above that place with a burst of light.

    Country diary: Wenlock Edge

  • Two green hairstreak butterflies, gracefully viridescent, dance past on a soft wind that sifts through reeds, sets waving the tall golden flower stems of bog asphodel, and silky white plumes of cottongrass that has colonised the old peat-diggings.

    Country diary: Tregaron, Ceredigon

  • Wildlife spotted in East SussexButterflies (13) meadow brown; hedge brown; speckled wood; essex skipper; small skipper; large skipper; comma; small tortoiseshell; large white; small white; green-veined white; purple hairstreak; white admiral

    How to get back to nature when camping

  • In the past three years two other species, the holly blue and purple hairstreak, have been spotted for the first time on National Trust properties in Scotland.

    Weatherwatch: Global warming is evident in Scotland


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