- The definition of a pupa is the cocoon stage an insect goes through after the larval form and before the final form of the adult.
An example of a pupa is a caterpillar being enclosed in a cocoon.
nounpl. pupae or pupas
Origin of pupaModL: so named by Carolus Linnaeus ; from Classical Latin girl, doll, probably ; from Indo-European an unverified form pup- ; from base an unverified form pu-, to swell up, inflate
nounpl. pu·pae or pu·pas
Origin of pupaLatin pūpa, girl, doll.
(plural pupas or pupae or pupæ)
From New Latin, from a special use of Latin pupa.