kissing bug


  1. a person much given to kissing.
  2. an irresistible desire to kiss or be kissed.
any of several assassin bugs that attack humans, sometimes inflicting painful bites.


Can You Remember Your Favorite Words Of The Day From March?
Even if you’re a habitué of Word of the Day, you haven’t seen our March words in these ways! Challenge yourself to our comprehensive quiz!
Question 1 of 15
What does "habitué" mean?

Origin of kissing bug

An Americanism dating back to 1895–1900 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for kissing bug

  • As the story went West, bites by Conorhinus sanguisuga and Rasatus thoracicus were without doubt termed "kissing-bug" bites.

  • Their bites and blood-sucking habits gave cause to the "kissing-bug" scare to which the newspapers gave great publicity.

    Great Hike|Alan Douglas
  • An interesting psychological study was afforded in the summer of 1899, by the "kissing-bug" scare which swept over the country.

    Handbook of Medical Entomology|William Albert Riley

British Dictionary definitions for kissing bug

kissing bug


a North American assassin bug, Melanolestes picipes, with a painful bite, usually attacking the lips or cheeks of man
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