[ mij ]

  1. any of numerous minute dipterous insects, especially of the family Chironomidae, somewhat resembling a mosquito.: Compare gnat (def. 1).

  2. Chiefly British. a little person.

Origin of midge

First recorded before 900; Middle English mygge, Old English mycg; cognate with German Mücke, Old Norse mȳ; akin to Greek myîa, Latin musca “fly”

Words Nearby midge

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use midge in a sentence

  • Images of the fossils’ soft tissues, captured with scanning electron microscopy, reveal them in astonishing detail, from the facets of a crane fly’s compound eye to phantom midges trapped in a fish’s stomach.

  • Blue midge,—feather of Waterhen's neck,—lead coloured silk for body, grizzled hackle for legs.

    The Teesdale Angler | R Lakeland
  • Why, there is one who has reached the top; he is not to be compared with a fly so much as a midge—who would have thought it?

  • In another minute midge was on her sled, and, with one red-mittened hand waving on high, was whizzing down the hill.

    Marjorie's Busy Days | Carolyn Wells
  • The squire shook his head to drive the thought away—yet it persisted, coming back like a midge dancing before his face.

    The Escape of Mr. Trimm | Irvin S. Cobb
  • Thus ordered, Captain Cavendish opened the door and began calling loudly on the unknown lady bearing the name of midge.

    A Changed Heart | May Agnes Fleming

British Dictionary definitions for midge


/ (mɪdʒ) /

  1. any fragile mosquito-like dipterous insect of the family Chironomidae, occurring in dancing swarms, esp near water

  2. any similar or related insect, such as the biting midge and gall midge

  1. a small or diminutive person or animal

Origin of midge

Old English mycge; compare Old High German mucca, Danish myg

Derived forms of midge

  • midgy, adjective

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