Lo"cust (?), n. [L. locusta locust, grasshopper. Cf. Lobster.]
Any one of numerous species of long-winged, migratory, orthopterous insects, of the family Acrididae, allied to the grasshoppers; esp., (Edipoda, ∨ Pachytylus, migratoria, and Acridium perigrinum, of Southern Europe, Asia, and Africa. In the United States the related species with similar habits are usually called grasshoppers. See Grasshopper.
⇒ These insects are at times so numerous in Africa and the south of Asia as to devour every green thing; and when they migrate, they fly in an immense cloud. In the United States the harvest flies are improperly called locusts. See Cicada.
Locust beetle Zool., a longicorn beetle (Cyllene robiniae), which, in the larval state, bores holes in the wood of the locust tree. Its color is brownish black, barred with yellow. Called also locust borer. -- Locust bird Zool. the rose-colored starling or pastor of India. See Pastor. -- Locust hunter Zool., an African bird; the beefeater.
2. [Etymol. uncertain.] Bot.
The locust tree. See Locust Tree (definition, note, and phrases).
Locust bean Bot., a commercial name for the sweet pod of the carob tree.
© Webster 1913.