Definition of thrips
noun (plural same)
- a minute black winged insect which sucks plant sap and can be a serious pest of ornamental and food plants when present in large numbers. Thrips swarm on warm still summer days and cause irritation by crawling on the skin. Also called thunderbug, thunderfly.
- Order Thysanoptera: many species, including the pea thrips (Kakothrips robustus), which can cause considerable losses to pea crops
late 18th century: via Latin from Greek, literally 'woodworm'