Definitions

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

  • noun Any of numerous small, rounded, usually colorful beetles of the family Coccinellidae, often reddish with black spots and feeding primarily on other insects, including pests such as scale insects and aphids.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A ladybird: the more common name in the United States and in some parts of England.

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

  • noun (Zoöl.) Same as ladybird.

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

  • noun North America any beetle of the Coccinellidae family of beetles, typically having a round shape and a colorful shell.

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

  • noun small round bright-colored and spotted beetle that usually feeds on aphids and other insect pests

Etymologies

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

[Probably from its seven spots being considered a symbol of the seven sorrows of the Virgin Mary.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From lady +‎ bug, the “lady” here referring to Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. Compare German Marienkäfer.

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