English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is lignicolous a word used in a specific context, or is it common to say "that is a lignicolous bug"?

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The Corpus of Contemporary American English doesn't have any match for it, nor does the New Oxford American Dictionary, so it's not that common.

It means “that lives in or on wood or wood debris”. It is mostly used in academic or scientific writing, so you mean learn more about its usage from the Google Scholar search. Apparently, it is mainly applied to fungi, as in “lignicolous fungi of the forests of New Hampshire”.

share|improve this answer

As an adjective, lignicolous is appropriate to describe anything growing or living on or in wood. However, I would suggest considering whether your audience has experience with that word, or handy access to a dictionary.

You could just as easily say "That bug lives in wood."

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.