Definitions

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

  • n. Any of various nocturnal beetles of the family Lampyridae, characteristically having luminescent chemicals in the posterior tip of the abdomen that produce a flashing light. Also called lightning bug. See Regional Note at lightning bug.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A nocturnal, bioluminescent beetle of the family Lampyridae.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any luminous winged insect, esp. luminous beetles of the family Lampyridæ.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An insect which has the faculty of becoming luminous; a lampyrid or elaterid beetle which emits phosphorescent light from organs in some part of the body.

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

  • n. nocturnal beetle common in warm regions having luminescent abdominal organs
  • n. tropical American click beetle having bright luminous spots

Etymologies

fire +‎ fly (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Zoë: Sir... you paid money for this? On purpose?
    Mal: Ship like this, be with you till the day you die.
    Zoë: Because it's a death trap.

    December 18, 2007