horse fly

  1. 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

Words Nearby horse fly Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use horse fly in a sentence

  • But I was just fortunate enough to capture the most perfect specimen I have ever seen of a green horse-fly.

  • No, its not a snake; it is a most perfect specimen of a horse-fly.

  • Finding that she did not yet comprehend him, he exclaimed: "Why, girl, did you never see a horse-fly?"

    Scotch Wit and Humor | W. H. (Walter Henry) Howe
  • 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
  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for horsefly


/ (ˈhɔːsˌflaɪ) /

nounplural -flies
  1. any large stout-bodied dipterous fly of the family Tabanidae, the females of which suck the blood of mammals, esp horses, cattle, and man: Also called: gadfly, cleg

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