American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A persistent irritating critic; a nuisance.
- n. One that acts as a provocative stimulus; a goad.
- n. Any of various flies, especially of the family Tabanidae, that bite or annoy livestock and other animals.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The popular name of sundry flies which goad or sting domestic animals, as a breeze, breeze-fly, or horse-fly; specifically, a dipterous insect of the family Tabanidæ and suborder Brachycera, representing also a superfamily Hexachætæ. They are comparatively large, very active, voracious, and bloodthirsty, with great powers of biting, the mouth-parts being more highly developed than those of any other dipterous insect. They have also great power of flight. The bite is deep and painful, often drawing blood, though not poisonous. In strictness, only the females are gadflies, the males being smaller and quite inoffensive, living on juices of plants. There are more than 1,000 species, of the genera Tabanus, Chrysops, Hæmatopota, and others. One of the commonest gadflies which attack cattle and horses is Tabanus bovinus. See also out under Chrysops.
- n. A common though erroneous name of sundry flies (bot-flies) of the family Œstridæ and genus Œstrus or Hippoderma, belonging to a different series of the great order Diptera from that of gadflies proper. These flies sting animals with their ovipositor, and deposit their eggs in the skin.
- n. Figuratively, one who is constantly going about; a mischievous or annoying gadabout.
- n. Any dipterous insect of the family Oestridae, commonly known as botflies.
- n. A horsefly: any of various species of fly, of the family Tabanidae, noted for buzzing about animals and sucking their blood.
- n. One who upsets the status quo by posing upsetting or novel questions, or attempts to stimulate innovation by proving an irritant.
- n. pejorative One who merely irritates without making useful suggestions.
- n. slang A bloodsucker
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) Any dipterous insect of the genus Oestrus, and allied genera of botflies.
- n. a persistently annoying person
- n. any of various large flies that annoy livestock
- "fly which bites cattle", from Old Norse gaddr ("spike"). (Wiktionary)
- gad2 + fly2. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Being a gadfly is certainly a role, and occasionally a helpful one.”
“And sometimes the gadfly is off base and really doesn't understand what is going on.”
“The Alaskan resident – now being referred to as a gadfly – criticized where she felt it was due and gave credit where it appeared there should be some.”
“History shows that once in a while even a so-called gadfly has been able to effect change.”
“Q: You've been called a gadfly, a consumer activist.”
“She's a movie writer of sorts, but mostly just the most annoying kind of gadfly, and certainly a fun role for Keaton to play with.”
“He also had become a kind of gadfly conservationist, fighting an all but futile battle to protect such ancient sites as Petra and the Aqaba waterfront from bureaucratic despoliation.”
“The LA Times brands Kilkenny a "gadfly" who was a regular at local political meetings when even the town's political reporter wouldn't show.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘gadfly’.
A complete Barron's Wordlist for GRE preparation. Your online flashcard replacement.
A list of words that are odd or words that I have looked up.
A list of compound derogatory names such as gapeseed, muckworm and lickspittle. Your one-word contributions to this list are welcome.
See sionnach's list derogatory terms I should use ...
Names of animals that are also used to describe kinds of people. Nouns only, preferably single word.
For a related list, see sionnach's beastly verbs.
An extensive list I have been working on for quite some time. Feel free to add more of the kind if you miss any.
its a list of words borrowed from Magoosh GRE blog ,an indispensable resource for GRE test takers.
mostly from magoosh
Looking for tweets for gadfly.