With plural agreement. A suborder of the Coleoptera comprising chiefly predatory beetles, including the large ground beetle family (Carabidae) and several aquatic families; beetles of this suborder (collectively or individually).
By some 19th-cent. authors used only for the terrestrial members of this suborder.
Early 19th century. From scientific Latin Adephaga (1816 or earlier; earlier in form Adephagi (J. P. de ClairvilleEntomologie helvétique II. 3; compare post-classical Latin adephagus) from ancient Greek ἀδηϕάγος voracious + scientific Latin -a.