1. Any of various short-horned grasshoppers that sometimes migrate in immense swarms, devouring vegetation and crops.
2. A cicada, especially a periodical cicada.
a. Any of several trees of the pea family bearing long pods, especially the black locust, honey locust, and carob.
b. The wood of any of these trees.
[Middle English, from Old French locuste, from Latin locusta. Sense 3a, probably from the resemblance of a carob pod to a grasshopper and the use of both as subsistence food in drier regions of the Near East.]
(click for a larger image)locust
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.