Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Any of various elongate insects of the order Dermaptera, having a pair of usually pincerlike appendages protruding from the rear of the abdomen. Also called dermapteran.
tr.v. ear·wigged, ear·wig·ging, ear·wigs
To attempt to influence by persistent confidential argument or talk.
[Middle English erwig, from Old English ēarwicga : ēare, ear; see ear1 + wicga, insect; see wegh- in Indo-European roots.]
Word History: According to a widespread folk tradition, earwigs enter the ears of sleeping people and burrow into their brains, eating a network of tunnels through the head and even leaving their eggs to hatch within the skull. In fact, this belief is completely false. An earwig, being a creature that prefers moist dark places, may very, very rarely find its way into the human ear, but it will not eat through the eardrum. Earwigs eat a variety of plants, insects, and decaying organic matter, not human flesh. But the folk belief in the deadly earwig is very old and has remained persistent. An Old English text of around ad 1000 even includes a remedy with ēarwicgan, "against earwigs," in which a thick blade of grass or straw is used to drive the earwig out of the ear. The Modern English word earwig itself descends from Old English ēarwicga, a compound of ēar, "ear," and wicga, a word denoting some kind of insect, and this compound obviously reflects the folk tradition about the earwig's horrific habits. The second part of the compound, wicga, is no doubt a member of the same family of words that includes the Modern English verbs wiggle (from or akin to the Middle Low German wiggelen) and wag (from Middle English waggen). This group of terms denotes quick movements of various sorts, and the prehistoric ancestor of the Old English word wicga probably meant something like "wiggler."
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Animals) any of various insects of the order Dermaptera, esp Forficula auricularia (common European earwig), which typically have an elongated body with small leathery forewings, semicircular membranous hindwings, and curved forceps at the tip of the abdomen
vb, -wigs, -wigging or -wigged
1. informal to eavesdrop
2. (tr) archaic to attempt to influence (a person) by private insinuation
[Old English ēarwicga, from ēare ear1 + wicga beetle, insect; probably from a superstition that the insect crept into human ears]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
n., v. -wigged, -wig•ging. n.
1. any of numerous dark and slender nocturnal insects of the order Dermaptera, having horny pincers at the rear that can rise up like a scorpion's.v.t.
2. to fill the mind of with prejudice by insinuations.
[before 1000; Middle English erwigge, Old English ēarwicga=ēar ear1 + wicga earwig]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Past participle: earwigged
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||earwig - any of numerous insects of the order Dermaptera having elongate bodies and slender many-jointed antennae and a pair of large pincers at the rear of the abdomen|
insect - small air-breathing arthropod
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
دُويبَة أبو مَقَص
earwig[ˈɪəwɪg] N → tijereta f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
earwig[ˈɪərwɪg] n → perce-oreille m
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
earwig[ˈɪəˌwɪg] n (insect) → forbicina
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
a kind of insect with pincers at the end of its body. oorkruiper دُويبَة أبو مَقَص щипалка bicha-cadela škvor der Ohrwurm ørentvist ψαλίδαtijereta kõrvahark گوشخزک isopihtihäntä perce-oreille חָרַק קָטַן एक तरह का कीड़ा uholaža fülbemászó (bogár) kumbang klaufhali, eyrnapadda forbicina はさみ虫 집게벌레 auslinda spīļaste lelawi oorwormsaksedyr szczypawka یوه دوله حشره ده bicha-cadela urechelniţă уховёртка ucholak strigalica uholaža tvestjärt แมลงตัวยาวที่หากินในเวลากลางคืนมีส่วนที่คล้ายคีมขนาดใหญ่ kulağakaçan böceği 蠼螋，地蜈蚣 щипавка کوئی لمبوترا حشرہ جس کا سرا چمٹے کی طرح دوشاخہ ہوتا ہے con sâu tai 蠖螋
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.