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[lahr-vuh] /ˈlɑr və/

noun, plural larvae
[lahr-vee] /ˈlɑr vi/ (Show IPA)
Entomology. the immature, wingless, feeding stage of an insect that undergoes complete metamorphosis.
any animal in an analogous immature form.
the young of any invertebrate animal.
larvae, Roman Antiquity. malignant ghosts, as lemures.
noun (pl) -vae (-viː)
an immature free-living form of many animals that develops into a different adult form by metamorphosis

plural of larva (q.v.).

1650s, “a ghost, specter,” from Latin larva (plural larvae), earlier larua “ghost,” also “mask;” applied in biological sense 1768 by Linnaeus because immature forms of insects “mask” the adult forms. On the double sense of the Latin word, Carlo Ginzburg, among other students of mythology and folklore, has commented on “the well-nigh universal association between masks and the spirits of the dead.”

larva lar·va (lär’və)
n. pl. lar·vas or lar·vae (-vē)

lar’val adj.
Plural larvae (lär’vē) or larvas


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    [lahr-vuh l] /ˈlɑr vəl/ adjective 1. of, relating to, or in the form of a . 2. Also, larvate [lahr-veyt] /ˈlɑr veɪt/ (Show IPA). (of a disease) masked; not clearly defined. adj. 1650s, from Latin larvalis, from larva (see larva).

  • Larval stage

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  • Larval therapy

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    larva migrans larva mi·grans (mī’grānz’) n. pl. larvae mi·gran·tes (mī-grān’tēz’) A larval worm, typically a nematode, that wanders in the host tissues but does not develop to the adult stage.

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