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horse fly

any bloodsucking, usually large fly of the family Tabanidae, especially of the genus Tabanus, a serious pest of horses, cattle, etc.
Origin of horse fly
1350-1400; Middle English horsfleeye Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for horse fly
Historical Examples
  • We found it to be a horse fly, quite dead, but showing no marks of violence.

    Wasps George W. Peckham
  • We have already noticed the most perfect condition of these parts as seen in the horse fly.

    Our Common Insects Alpheus Spring Packard
  • The horse fly is larger than the insect of the same name in the United States.

    Along Alaska's Great River Frederick Schwatka
  • The head of the horse fly appears to be all eyes, and it is no wonder that we can so seldom take it by surprise.

    Book of Monsters

    David Fairchild and Marian Hubbard (Bell) Fairchild
  • That tent of ours has stuck out on the landscape like a horse fly on a pillow sham.

    Hepsey Burke

    Frank Noyes Westcott
  • Bess merely looked around and seemed to think a horse fly had stung her.

    The Cruise of a Schooner Albert W. Harris
  • In a preceding chapter Schwatka reports that one of his party, bitten by a horse fly, was completely disabled for a week.

    Along Alaska's Great River Frederick Schwatka
  • When I had fairly passed the camp I came down to the road again, and I let my horse fly!

    Old Indian Days [AKA Ohiyesa], Charles A. Eastman

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