An insect is commonly called a bug. Flies, bees, and wasps are all insects.

Insects are the most numerous type of animals on Earth — and also some of the least popular. These tiny, air-breathing arthropods always seem to be where you don't want them. Mosquitoes, ants, and bees can ruin a picnic. Moths ruin clothes. Cockroaches are disgusting and extremely hard to kill. It's no wonder insects aren't as popular as cats or dogs.

Definitions of insect
  1. noun
    small air-breathing arthropod
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    social insect
    an insect that lives in a colony with other insects of the same species
    ephemeral, ephemeron
    anything short-lived, as an insect that lives only for a day in its winged form
    holometabola, metabola
    insects that undergo complete metamorphosis
    an insect that strips the leaves from plants
    an insect that carries pollen from one flower to another
    any of various insects that deposit their eggs in plants causing galls in which the larvae feed
    any of various carnivorous insects of the order Mecoptera
    collembolan, springtail
    any of numerous minute wingless primitive insects possessing a special abdominal appendage that allows the characteristic nearly perpetual springing pattern; found in soil rich in organic debris or on the surface of snow or water
    proturan, telsontail
    any of several minute primitive wingless and eyeless insects having a cone-shaped head; inhabit damp soil or decaying organic matter
    insect having biting mouthparts and front wings modified to form horny covers overlying the membranous rear wings
    web spinner
    any of a small order of slender typically tropical insects that nest in colonies in silken tunnels that they spin
    louse, sucking louse
    wingless usually flattened bloodsucking insect parasitic on warm-blooded animals
    bird louse, biting louse, louse
    wingless insect with mouth parts adapted for biting; mostly parasitic on birds
    any wingless bloodsucking parasitic insect noted for ability to leap
    dipteran, dipteron, dipterous insect, two-winged insects
    insects having usually a single pair of functional wings (anterior pair) with the posterior pair reduced to small knobbed structures and mouth parts adapted for sucking or lapping or piercing
    leaf miner, leaf-miner
    any of various small moths or dipterous flies whose larvae burrow into and feed on leaf tissue especially of the family Gracilariidae
    hymenopter, hymenopteran, hymenopteron, hymenopterous insect
    insects having two pairs of membranous wings and an ovipositor specialized for stinging or piercing
    sterile member of a colony of social insects that forages for food and cares for the larvae
    termite, white ant
    whitish soft-bodied ant-like social insect that feeds on wood
    orthopteran, orthopteron, orthopterous insect
    any of various insects having leathery forewings and membranous hind wings and chewing mouthparts
    phasmid, phasmid insect
    large cylindrical or flattened mostly tropical insects with long strong legs that feed on plants; walking sticks and leaf insects
    dictyopterous insect
    cockroaches and mantids
    general term for any insect or similar creeping or crawling invertebrate
    bug, hemipteran, hemipteron, hemipterous insect
    insects with sucking mouthparts and forewings thickened and leathery at the base; usually show incomplete metamorphosis
    heteropterous insect
    true bugs: insects whose forewings are membranous but have leathery tips
    homopteran, homopterous insect
    insects having membranous forewings and hind wings
    psocopterous insect
    small soft-bodied insect with chewing mouthparts and either no wings or two pairs
    ephemerid, ephemeropteran
    short-lived insect
    plecopteran, stone fly, stonefly
    primitive winged insect with a flattened body; used as bait by fishermen; aquatic gilled larvae are carnivorous and live beneath stones
    neuropteran, neuropteron, neuropterous insect
    insect having biting mouthparts and four large membranous wings with netlike veins
    large primitive predatory aquatic insect having two pairs of membranous wings
    trichopteran, trichopteron, trichopterous insect
    caddis fly
    thysanuran insect, thysanuron
    primitive wingless insects: bristletail
    thysanopter, thysanopteron, thysanopterous insect
    an insect of the order Thysanoptera
    any of numerous insects of the order Dermaptera having elongate bodies and slender many-jointed antennae and a pair of large pincers at the rear of the abdomen
    lepidopteran, lepidopteron, lepidopterous insect
    insect that in the adult state has four wings more or less covered with tiny scales
    an insect in the inactive stage of development (when it is not feeding) intermediate between larva and adult
    an adult insect produced after metamorphosis
    the only fertile female in a colony of social insects such as bees and ants and termites; its function is to lay eggs
    scorpion fly
    any of various mecopterous insects of the family Panorpidae of the northern hemisphere having a long beak and long antennae; males have a tail like that of a scorpion except it is not venomous
    hanging fly
    any of various mecopterous insects of the family Bittacidae
    tiger beetle
    active usually bright-colored beetle that preys on other insects
    lady beetle, ladybeetle, ladybird, ladybird beetle, ladybug
    small round bright-colored and spotted beetle that usually feeds on aphids and other insect pests
    carabid beetle, ground beetle
    predacious shining black or metallic terrestrial beetle that destroys many injurious insects
    firefly, lightning bug
    nocturnal beetle common in warm regions having luminescent abdominal organs
    long-horned beetle, longicorn, longicorn beetle
    long-bodied beetle having very long antennae
    chrysomelid, leaf beetle
    brightly colored beetle that feeds on plant leaves; larvae infest roots and stems
    carpet beetle, carpet bug
    small beetle whose larvae are household pests feeding on woolen fabrics
    clerid, clerid beetle
    predacious on other insects; usually brightly colored or metallic
    lamellicorn beetle
    beetle having antennae with hard platelike terminal segments
    elater, elaterid, elaterid beetle
    any of various widely distributed beetles
    water beetle
    any of numerous aquatic beetles usually having a smooth oval body and flattened hind legs for swimming
    whirligig beetle
    aquatic beetle that circles rapidly on the water surface
    Xestobium rufovillosum, deathwatch, deathwatch beetle
    bores through wood making a ticking sound popularly thought to presage death
    any of several families of mostly small beetles that feed on plants and plant products; especially snout beetles and seed beetles
    blister beetle, meloid
    beetle that produces a secretion that blisters the skin
    bark beetle
    small beetle that bores tunnels in the bark and wood of trees; related to weevils
    rove beetle
    active beetle typically having predatory or scavenging habits
    Anoplophora glabripennis, Asian longhorned beetle
    a beetle from China that has been found in the United States and is a threat to hardwood trees; lives inside the tree; no natural predators in the United States
    Pediculus humanus, common louse
    head or body louse
    Pediculus capitis, head louse
    infests the head and body of humans
    Pediculus corporis, body louse, cootie
    a parasitic louse that infests the body of human beings
    Phthirius pubis, crab, crab louse, pubic louse
    a louse that infests the pubic region of the human body
    Menopon gallinae, Menopon palladum, chicken louse, shaft louse
    a louse parasitic on poultry
    Pulex irritans
    the most common flea attacking humans
    Ctenocephalides canis, dog flea
    flea that attacks dogs and cats
    Ctenocephalides felis, cat flea
    flea that breeds chiefly on cats and dogs and rats
    Tunga penetrans, chigger, chigoe, chigoe flea
    small tropical flea; the fertile female burrows under the skin of the host including humans
    Echidnophaga gallinacea, sticktight, sticktight flea
    parasitic on especially the heads of chickens
    gall gnat, gall midge, gallfly
    fragile mosquito-like flies that produce galls on plants
    two-winged insects characterized by active flight
    bee killer, robber fly
    swift predatory fly having a strong body like a bee with the proboscis hardened for sucking juices of other insects captured on the wing
    fruit fly, pomace fly
    any of numerous small insects whose larvae feed on fruits
    hippoboscid, louse fly
    bloodsucking dipterous fly parasitic on birds and mammals
    two-winged insect whose female has a long proboscis to pierce the skin and suck the blood of humans and animals
    any of various small biting flies: midges; biting midges; black flies; sand flies
    fungus gnat
    mosquito-like insect whose larvae feed on fungi or decaying vegetation
    fungus gnat, sciara, sciarid
    minute blackish gregarious flies destructive to mushrooms and seedlings
    crane fly, daddy longlegs
    long-legged slender flies that resemble large mosquitoes but do not bite
    any of numerous hairy-bodied insects including social and solitary species
    queen bee
    fertile egg-laying female bee
    a wingless sterile ant or termite having a large head and powerful jaws adapted for defending the colony
    worker bee
    sterile bee specialized to collect food and maintain the hive
    social or solitary hymenopterans typically having a slender body with the abdomen attached by a narrow stalk and having a formidable sting
    Mutillidae, family Mutillidae
    a family of wasps
    chalcid, chalcid fly, chalcid wasp, chalcidfly
    any of various tiny insects whose larvae are parasites on eggs and larvae of other insects; many are beneficial in destroying injurious insects
    ichneumon fly
    hymenopterous insect that resembles a wasp and whose larvae are parasitic on caterpillars and other insect larvae
    insect whose female has a saw-like ovipositor for inserting eggs into the leaf or stem tissue of a host plant
    ant, emmet, pismire
    social insect living in organized colonies; characteristically the males and fertile queen have wings during breeding season; wingless sterile females are the workers
    dry-wood termite
    any of various termites that live in and feed on dry wood that is not connected with the soil
    Reticulitermes flanipes
    destructive United States termite
    Reticulitermes lucifugus
    destructive European termite
    Mastotermes darwiniensis
    Australian termite; sole living species of Mastotermes; called a living fossil; apparent missing link between cockroaches and termites
    Mastotermes electromexicus
    an extinct termite found in amber in southern Mexico
    Mastotermes electrodominicus
    extinct termite found in amber in the Dominican Republic
    grasshopper, hopper
    terrestrial plant-eating insect with hind legs adapted for leaping
    leaping insect; male makes chirping noises by rubbing the forewings together
    stick insect, walking stick, walkingstick
    any of various mostly tropical insects having long twiglike bodies
    leaf insect, walking leaf
    tropical insect having a flattened leaflike body; common in southern Asia and the East Indies
    cockroach, roach
    any of numerous chiefly nocturnal insects; some are domestic pests
    mantid, mantis
    predacious long-bodied large-eyed insect of warm regions; rests with forelimbs raised as in prayer
    leaf bug, plant bug
    small bright-colored insect that feeds on plant juices
    lygaeid, lygaeid bug
    a true bug: usually bright-colored; pest of cultivated crops and some fruit trees
    coreid, coreid bug
    a true bug
    Cimex lectularius, bed bug, bedbug, chinch
    bug of temperate regions that infests especially beds and feeds on human blood
    Notonecta undulata, backswimmer
    predaceous aquatic insect that swims on its back and may inflict painful bites
    true bug
    any of various insects of the order Hemiptera and especially of the suborder Heteroptera
    water bug
    a true bug: large aquatic bug adapted to living in or on the surface of water
    assassin bug, reduviid
    a true bug: long-legged predacious bug living mostly on other insects; a few suck blood of mammals
    a true bug: brightly colored bug that can exude a stain
    cotton stainer
    a true bug: bug that damages and stains the lint of developing cotton
    minute insect that feeds on plant juices; related to scale insects
    coccid insect
    scale insects and mealybugs
    louse, plant louse
    any of several small insects especially aphids that feed by sucking the juices from plants
    cicada, cicala
    stout-bodied insect with large membranous wings; male has drum-like organs for producing a high-pitched drone
    spittle insect, spittlebug
    small leaping herbivorous insect that lives in a mass of protective froth which it and its larvae secrete
    small leaping insect that sucks the juices of plants
    plant hopper, planthopper
    related to the leafhoppers and spittlebugs but rarely damages cultivated plants
    small winged insect living on the bark and leaves of trees and feeding on e.g. fungi and decaying plant matter
    Liposcelis divinatorius, book louse, booklouse, deathwatch
    minute wingless psocopterous insects injurious to books and papers
    in some former classifications: name for the Ephemeroptera
    dayfly, mayfly, shadfly
    slender insect with delicate membranous wings having an aquatic larval stage and terrestrial adult stage usually lasting less than two days
    ant lion, antlion, antlion fly
    winged insect resembling a dragonfly; the larvae (doodlebugs) dig conical pits where they wait to catch e.g. ants
    lacewing, lacewing fly
    any of two families of insects with gauzy wings (Chrysopidae and Hemerobiidae); larvae feed on insect pests such as aphids
    Corydalus cornutus, dobson, dobson fly, dobsonfly
    large soft-bodied insect having long slender mandibles in the male; aquatic larvae often used as bait
    fish fly, fish-fly
    similar to but smaller than the dobsonfly; larvae are used as fishing bait
    Sialis lutaria, alder fly, alderfly
    dark-colored insect having predaceous aquatic larvae
    predatory insect of western North America having a long necklike prothorax
    insect that resembles a mantis; larvae are parasites in the nests of spiders and wasps
    spongefly, spongillafly
    hairy-bodied insect whose larvae feed on freshwater sponges
    darning needle, devil's darning needle, dragonfly, mosquito hawk, sewing needle, skeeter hawk, snake doctor, snake feeder
    slender-bodied non-stinging insect having iridescent wings that are outspread at rest; adults and nymphs feed on mosquitoes etc.
    slender non-stinging insect similar to but smaller than the dragonfly but having wings folded when at rest
    caddice fly, caddice-fly, caddis fly, caddis-fly
    small moth-like insect having two pairs of hairy membranous wings and aquatic larvae
    small wingless insect with a long bristlelike tail
    Lepisma saccharina, silverfish
    silver-grey wingless insect found in houses feeding on book bindings and starched clothing
    jumping bristletail, machilid
    wingless insect living in dark moist places as under dead tree trunks; they make erratic leaps when disturbed
    thrip, thripid, thrips
    any of various small to minute sucking insects with narrow feathery wings if any; they feed on plant sap and many are destructive
    Forficula auricularia, common European earwig
    sometimes destructive to cultivated bulbs
    diurnal insect typically having a slender body with knobbed antennae and broad colorful wings
    typically crepuscular or nocturnal insect having a stout body and feathery or hairlike antennae
    pupa of a moth or butterfly enclosed in a cocoon
    type of:
    invertebrate having jointed limbs and a segmented body with an exoskeleton made of chitin
  2. noun
    a person who has a nasty or unethical character undeserving of respect
    synonyms: dirt ball, louse, worm
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    type of:
    disagreeable person, unpleasant person
    a person who is not pleasant or agreeable
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