Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. See mayfly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mayfly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A neuropterous insect of the genus Ephemera and related genera, of many species, and inhabiting fresh water in the larval state; the ephemeral fly; -- so called because it commonly lives but one day in the winged or adult state. See Ephemeral fly, under ephemeral.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A May-fly: a popular name of the neuropterous insects of the family Ephemeridæ: so called because, however long they may live in the larval state, in their perfect form they exist only from a few hours to a few days, taking no food, but only propagating and then dying. See Ephemeridæ.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. slender insect with delicate membranous wings having an aquatic larval stage and terrestrial adult stage usually lasting less than two days

Etymologies

day +‎ fly, since the adults typically live only for a day. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Bloodless and many footed animals, whether furnished with wings or feet, move with more than four points of motion; as, for instance, the dayfly moves with four feet and four wings: and, I may observe in passing, this creature is exceptional not only in regard to the duration of its existence, whence it receives its name, but also because though a quadruped it has wings also.

    The History of Animals

  • The 22-year-old manual worker has been living like a "dayfly," as he calls it, barely making a living enough for a day.

    ABC News: Top Stories

  • Dazzled, the dayfly flutters round your wick, crackles, flares and cries: I bless this torch!

    hustler of culture

  • Bloodless and many footed animals, whether furnished with wings or feet, move with more than four points of motion; as, for instance, the dayfly (ephémeron) moves with four feet and four wings: and, I may observe in passing, this creature is exceptional not only in regard to the duration of its existence, whence it receives its name, but also because though a quadruped it has wings also.

    ScienceBlogs Channel : Life Science

  • Be still, ere I smite you like the dayfly you are! "

    The Boat of a Million Years

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