beetle

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bee·tle 1 / ˈbētl/ • n. an insect of an order (Coleoptera) distinguished by having forewings typically modified into hard wing cases (elytra) that cover and protect the hind wings and abdomen. ∎  (loosely) a similar insect, esp. a black one. • v. inf. make one's way hurriedly: the tourist beetled off. bee·tle2 • n. a tool with a heavy head and a handle, used for tasks such as ramming, crushing, and driving wedges; a maul. ∎  a machine used for heightening the luster of cloth by pressure from rollers. • v. [tr.] ram, crush, or drive with a beetle. bee·tle2 • v. [intr.] [usu. as adj.] (beetling) (of a person's eyebrows) project or overhang threateningly: piercing eyes glittered beneath a great beetling brow. • adj. (of a person's eyebrows) shaggy and projecting. DERIVATIVES: bee·tle-browed adj.

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beetlebattle, cattle, chattel, embattle, prattle, rattle, Seattle, tattle •fractal •cantle, covenantal, mantel, mantle, Prandtl •pastel • Fremantle • tittle-tattle •startle, stratal •Nahuatl •fettle, kettle, metal, mettle, nettle, petal, Popocatépetl, settle •dialectal, rectal •dental, gentle, mental, Oriental, parental, rental •transeptal •festal, vestal •gunmetal •antenatal, fatal, hiatal, natal, neonatal, ratel •beetle, betel, chital, decretal, fetal •blackbeetle •acquittal, belittle, brittle, committal, embrittle, it'll, kittle, little, remittal, skittle, spittle, tittle, victual, whittle •edictal, rictal •lintel, pintle, quintal •Bristol, Chrystal, crystal, pistol •varietal • coital • phenobarbital •orbital • pedestal • sagittal • vegetal •digital • skeletal • Doolittle •congenital, genital, primogenital, urogenital •capital • lickspittle • hospital • marital •entitle, mistitle, recital, requital, title, vital •subtitle • surtitle •axolotl, bottle, dottle, glottal, mottle, pottle, throttle, wattle •fontal, horizontal •hostel, intercostal, Pentecostal •greenbottle • bluebottle • Aristotle •chortle, immortal, mortal, portal •Borstal •anecdotal, sacerdotal, teetotal, total •coastal, postal •subtotal •brutal, footle, pootle, refutal, rootle, tootle •buttle, cuttle, rebuttal, scuttle, shuttle, subtle, surrebuttal •buntal, contrapuntal, frontal •crustal • societal • pivotal •hurtle, kirtle, myrtle, turtle

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beetle Insect characterized by horny front wings that serve as protective covers for the membranous hind wings. These protective sheaths are often brightly coloured. Beetles are usually stout-bodied and their mouthparts are adapted for biting and chewing. They are poor fliers, but (like all insects) are protected from injury and drying up by an exoskeleton. Beetles are the most numerous of the insects. More than 250,000 species are known and new ones are still being discovered. They include scarab beetles, ladybirds, and weevils. Most feed on plants, some prey on small animals, including other insects, whereas others are scavengers. Beetles undergo complete metamorphosis. Their larvae (grubs) usually have three pairs of legs and distinct heads, usually dark in colour. Length: 0.5mm–6cm (0.02–6.3in). Order Coleoptera.

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beetle1 beating instrument. OE. bētel (WS. bīetel) :- Gmc. *bautilaz, f. *bautan BEAT1 + -il- -LE1. Cf. OHG. bōzil cudgel.

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beetle2 coleopterous insect. OE. bitula, -ela, f. *bit-, short base of bītan BITE; see -LE1.