A cicada is a large, winged insect that makes a distinctive vibrating sound. You might hear hundreds of male cicadas singing loudly on a summer night.

Cicadas are often confused with locusts, which are a similar size, a little under two inches long, but are unrelated to the cicada. Cicadas live from two to five years, and in many parts of the world they're a popular food — they were also eaten in ancient Greece and their shells are an ingredient in several traditional Chinese medicines. The word cicada is Latin, meaning "tree cricket." In some parts of Appalachia, cicadas are called "jarflies."

Definitions of cicada

n stout-bodied insect with large membranous wings; male has drum-like organs for producing a high-pitched drone

dog-day cicada, harvest fly
its distinctive song is heard during July and August
Magicicada septendecim, periodical cicada, seventeen-year locust
North American cicada; appears in great numbers at infrequent intervals because the nymphs take 13 to 17 years to mature
Type of:
homopteran, homopterous insect
insects having membranous forewings and hind wings

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