- plural of elytron.
noun, plural el·y·tra [el-i-truh] /ˈɛl ɪ trə/.
- one of the pair of hardened forewings of certain insects, as beetles, forming a protective covering for the posterior or flight wings.
noun, plural el·y·tra [el-i-truh] /ˈɛl ɪ trə/. Obsolete.
noun plural -tra (-trə)
- either of the horny front wings of beetles and some other insects, which cover and protect the hind wings
1774, plural of elytron “hardened wing of an insect,” from Greek elytron “sheath,” from elyein “to roll round,” from PIE root *wel- “to turn, roll,” with derivatives referring to curved, enclosing objects (see volvox).
- Either of the modified forewings of a beetle or related insect that encase the thin hind wings used in flight.