Definitions

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

  • noun Any of various terrestrial isopod crustaceans of the suborder Oniscidea, having a gray or brown oval segmented body and commonly found in damp places such as under logs. Some woodlice can roll into a ball.

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

  • noun A terrestrial isopod crustacean (suborder Oniscoidea) with a rigid, segmented exoskeleton, often capable of being rolled into a ball, found in damp, dark places, and feeding only on dead plant matter, usually lives under stones or bark.

Etymologies

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Examples

  • Other names have evolved more colloquially and imaginatively: the Armadillidium is also variously known as a woodlouse, gramfy-gravy, pill bug, roly-poly, monkey pea or cheesy bug.

    The Guardian World News

  • Sadly, I've always believed that actions speak several billion times louder than words - which is why my ego tends more towards the 'woodlouse' end of the spectrum.

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • Sadly, I've always believed that actions speak several billion times louder than words - which is why my ego tends more towards the 'woodlouse' end of the spectrum.

    Dial M for Munter

  • That is the name of one kind of ‘pill bug’, which is a crustacean, a woodlouse, related to shrimps but living on land – where it betrays its recent aquatic ancestry by breathing with gills, which have to be kept moist.

    THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH

  • Yet one is a modified woodlouse, while the other is a modified modified in the same direction millipede.

    THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH

  • Maybe the idea is for the writer to let us to know that she lives at a similar pitch of intensity to Sylvia Plath and, by implication, that her life is so much more interesting and fulfilled than our dreary little woodlouse-like meanderings.

    Smoking Guns and the Morality of Parliamentary Privilege

  • A mentally retarded woodlouse would have a job to make a worse mess than GB.

    John Rentoul today puts Trevor Kavanagh and myself in the...

  • The pill millipede has two pairs of legs on most segments, the pill woodlouse only one.

    THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH

  • The pill millipede has two pairs of legs on most segments, the pill woodlouse only one.

    THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH

  • The resemblance to a woodlouse is superficial – convergent.

    THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH

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