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noun, plural mos·qui·toes, mos·qui·tos.
  1. any of numerous dipterous insects of the family Culicidae, the females of which suck the blood of animals and humans, some species transmitting certain diseases, as malaria and yellow fever.
  2. (initial capital letter) Military. a twin-engined, two-seat British fighter and bomber of World War II, made largely of plywood and having a top speed of 380 miles per hour (610 km/h).

Origin of mosquito

1575–85; < Spanish, equivalent to mosc(a) fly (< Latin musca) + -ito diminutive suffix
Related formsmos·qui·to·ey, adjective


noun, plural Mos·qui·tos, (especially collectively) Mos·qui·to.
  1. Miskito.


or Mos·qui·to

noun, plural Mis·ki·tos, (especially collectively) Mis·ki·to for 1.
  1. a member of an American Indian people of northeastern Nicaragua and adjacent areas of Honduras.
  2. the language of the Miskito. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for mosquito


noun plural -toes or -tos
  1. any dipterous insect of the family Culicidae: the females have a long proboscis adapted for piercing the skin of man and animals to suck their bloodSee also aedes, anopheles, culex

Word Origin for mosquito

C16: from Spanish, diminutive of mosca fly, from Latin musca
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 mosquito

1580s, from Spanish mosquito "little gnat," diminutive of mosca "fly," from Latin musca "fly," from PIE root *mu- "gnat, fly," imitative of insect buzzing (cf. Sanskrit maksa-, Greek myia, Old English mycg, Modern English midge, Old Church Slavonic mucha), perhaps imitative of the sound of humming insects.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mosquito in Medicine


n. pl. mos•qui•toes
  1. Any of various two-winged insects of the family Culicidae, in which the female of most species has a long proboscis for sucking blood. Some species are vectors of diseases such as malaria and yellow fever.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.