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

  • adj. Feeding on insects.
  • adj. Botany Capable of trapping and absorbing insects, as the pitcher plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. feeding on insects
  • adj. capable of trapping and absorbing insects; such as the sundew, pitcher plant and Venus flytrap

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. plants which have some special adaptation for catching and digesting insects, as the sundew, Venus's flytrap, Sarracenia, etc.
  • adj. the Insectivora, and many bats, birds, and reptiles.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Feeding or subsisting on insects, as an animal or a plant.
  • Of or pertaining to the Insectivora, in any use of that name, or having their characters.

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

  • adj. (of animals and plants) feeding on insects


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Most carnivorous - "insectivorous" - plants do feed on insects and such buggy invertebrates.

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  • I have been working for some time on a special subject, namely insectivorous plants.

    More Letters of Charles Darwin — Volume 2

  • It would be almost an impossibility to keep the purely insectivorous species, were it not for the fact that they can be gradually accustomed to feed on what is known as "insectivorous" or "insectile" food, a composition of which the principal ingredients generally consist of dried ants 'cocoons, dried flies, dried powdered meat, preserved yolk of egg, [1] and crumb of bread or biscuit.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1 "Austria, Lower" to "Bacon"

  • The extremely long, forked tail is nearly always a dead give-away that this species is insectivorous and captures its flying prey whilst both are on the wing.

    Mystery bird: scissor-tailed flycatcher, Tyrannus forficatus

  • It is a migratory, insectivorous species, breeding mainly in forests in Siberia.

    Rare birds flock to British shores in record numbers

  • These insectivorous birds are found from the southwestern U.S. through Honduras in Central America.

    Mystery bird: Ladder-backed woodpecker, Picoides scalaris | @GrrlScientist

  • Thus, the Conservatory Garden was pressed into service to evoke the bower—orchids, ivy, Virginia creeper, insectivorous plants and, of course, those primroses—at Down House, Darwin's home in Kent.

    Evolution of a Garden

  • In collaboration with Professor Cutler J. Cleveland (Boston University) and Jeff Frank (Indigo Systems Corporation), and Gary McCracken (University of Tennessee), we are using infrared thermal imaging to census bats as they emerge nightly from caves, NEXRAD II Doppler radar to assess landscape patterns of nightly dispersal, and economic modeling to assess the impact that this insectivorous species has on a major agroecosystem in Texas.

    Contributor: Thomas Kunz

  • These insectivorous species feed on a wide range of aerial insects, some of which are considered to be major agricultural pests, including corn earworms and cotton boleworms.

    Contributor: Thomas Kunz

  • Elephant-shrews (also called sengis, order Macroscelidea) are small-bodied insectivorous mammals with a strictly African distribution.

    Archive 2008-11-01


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