• synonyms


noun, plural sand·flies.
  1. any of several small, bloodsucking, dipterous insects of the family Psychodidae that are vectors of several diseases of humans.
  2. any of several other small, bloodsucking, dipterous insects, as one of the family Heleidae or Simuliidae.
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Origin of sandfly

First recorded in 1675–85; sand + fly2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sand-fly

Historical Examples of sand-fly

  • The typhoid began in earnest later on, as well as sand-fly fever.

    In Mesopotamia

    Martin Swayne

  • The mosquito is a mournful and disgraceful fact; and so are the sand-fly, the stomoxys, and the flea.

    Three in Norway

    James Arthur Lees

  • Another noxious insect, the smallest, but not the least formidable, was the sand-fly known in Canada by the name of the brulot.

  • Another sickness of the hot season which now began to claim less victims was sand-fly fever.

  • They give rise to a malady known as sand-fly fever, which is like influenza and drains the body of all vitality for many days.

    In Mesopotamia

    Martin Swayne

British Dictionary definitions for sand-fly


noun plural -flies
  1. any of various small mothlike dipterous flies of the genus Phlebotomus and related genera: the bloodsucking females transmit diseases including leishmaniasis: family Psychodidae
  2. any of various similar and related flies
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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 sand-fly


1748, from sand (n.) + fly (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper