- Word History, Word Explorer
|part of speech:
||a newly hatched, wingless insect, often in the form of a worm, before it undergoes metamorphosis into its adult form.
||the young of other animals that undergo metamorphosis, at a similarly immature stage.
is a Latin word that means "mask" or "ghost." The Swedish botanist Linnaeus gave this Latin word a scientific sense in 1768. He chose this word because, in its larva stage, the true, adult form of the insect is masked.