or house fly


noun, plural house·flies.

a medium-sized, gray-striped fly, Musca domestica, common around human habitations in nearly all parts of the world.

Origin of housefly

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at house, fly2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for housefly

Historical Examples of housefly

  • An inch-objective will show the head of an housefly, which in a bright light is a very beautiful object.

  • They were insignificant in size and of a dark gray color, not unlike that of the housefly.

    The Life of the Fly

    J. Henri Fabre

  • They didn't care whether the housefly wiped his feet before he came into the house or not.

  • There is the housefly, the lesser cabbage white butterfly, and one or two other little things.

    The Sea and the Jungle

    H. M. Tomlinson

  • Shall I ever again sit for two mortal hours hearing a housefly buzz in the window and thinking it a pleasant voice!

    In the Footprints of the Padres

    Charles Warren Stoddard

British Dictionary definitions for housefly


noun plural -flies

a common dipterous fly, Musca domestica, that frequents human habitations, spreads disease, and lays its eggs in carrion, decaying vegetables, etc: family Muscidae
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 housefly

early 15c., from house (n.) + fly (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper