• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Elytrum (Zoöl) One of the anterior pair of wings in the Coleoptera and some other insects, when they are thick and serve only as a protection for the posterior pair.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n elytrum In entomology, the modified fore wing of beetles or Coleoptera, forming with its fellow of the opposite side a hard, horny, or leathery case or sheath, more or less completely covering and protecting the posterior membranous wings when these are folded at rest, and usually forming an extensive portion of the upper surface of a beetle; a shard. The elytra are also known as wing-covers or wing-sheaths. They are elevated during flight, but do not serve as wings. See cuts under Coleoptera and beetle.
    • n elytrum In some chætopodous annelids, as the Aphroditidæ, or polychætous annelids, as the Polynoë, one of the squamous lamellæ overlying one another on the dorsal surface of the worm, made by a modification of the dorsal cirri of the parapodia, of which they are thus specialized appendages.
    • n elytrum See the adjectives.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Elytrum el′it-rum the fore-wing of beetles, modified to form more or less hard coverings for the hind pair—also El′ytron
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., fr. Gr. , fr. to roll round
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. elytron, a sheath.