The cast-off skins or coverings of various organisms, such as the shells of crabs or the external coverings of the larvae and nymphs of insects.
[Latin, from exuere, to take off; see eu- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
ex·uvi·al (-vē-əl) adj.
(click for a larger image)exuviae
a newly emerged cicada with its brown exuviae
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.