firefly

[ fahyuh r-flahy ]
/ ˈfaɪərˌflaɪ /

noun, plural fire·flies.

any nocturnal beetle of the family Lampyridae, characterized by a soft body with a light-producing organ at the rear of the abdomen.

Nearby words

  1. firedrake,
  2. firefight,
  3. firefighter,
  4. firefighting,
  5. fireflood,
  6. fireguard,
  7. firehorse,
  8. firehouse,
  9. fireless,
  10. fireless cooker

Compare glowworm.

Origin of firefly

First recorded in 1650–60; fire + fly2

Also called glowfly, lightning bug.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for firefly


British Dictionary definitions for firefly

firefly

/ (ˈfaɪəˌflaɪ) /

noun plural -flies

any nocturnal beetle of the family Lampyridae, common in warm and tropical regions, having luminescent abdominal organsSee also glow-worm
any tropical American click beetle of the genus Pyrophorus, esp P. noctiluca, that have luminescent thoracic organs
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

Word Origin and History for firefly

firefly

n.

1650s, from fire (n.) + fly (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper