• synonyms


[dob-suh n-flahy]
noun, plural dob·son·flies.
  1. a large, soft-bodied insect, Corydalus cornutus, having four distinctly veined membranous wings, biting mouthparts, and, in the male, huge mandibles that jut out from the head.
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Compare hellgrammite.

Origin of dobsonfly

1900–05; after surname Dobson; see fly2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for dobsonfly


noun plural -flies
  1. US and Canadian a large North American neuropterous insect, Corydalis cornutus: the male has elongated horn-like mouthparts and the larva (a hellgrammite or dobson) is used as bait by anglers: suborder MegalopteraSee also hellgrammite
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Word Origin

C20: origin uncertain, perhaps after the surname Dobson
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012