nounThe American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Any one of several beetles of the family Anobiidae, especially Xestobium rufovillosum, whose head makes a clicking sound as it burrows into wood or wooden structures. The sound was superstitiously regarded as a portent of death.