Definitions

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

  • n. A common, widely distributed fly (Musca domestica) that frequents human dwellings, breeds in moist or decaying organic matter, and transmits a wide variety of diseases.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The common fly, of the species Musca domestica that occurs in most homes; it can spread some diseases.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a common fly (esp. Musca domestica), which infests houses both in Europe and America. Its larva is a maggot which lives in decaying substances or excrement, about sink drains, etc.
  • n. common fly (Musca domestica) that frequents human habitations and spreads many diseases.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The common fly, Musca domestica.

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

  • n. common fly that frequents human habitations and spreads many diseases
  • n. common fly that frequents human habitations and spreads many diseases

Etymologies

From house +‎ fly. Cognate with Dutch huisvlieg ("housefly"), Danish husflue ("housefly"), Swedish husfluga ("housefly"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • This preserved housefly is sporting a pair of two-millimeter-wide eyeglasses, engineered with ultra-precise fast-pulse laser technology.

    Nanotechnology For Fly Fashion

  • Generally speaking the housefly is very susceptible to DDT; unfortunately some fairly resistant species of fly have lately been observed.

    Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1948 - Presentation Speech

  • One memory that returned with the persistence of a housefly was my recollection of the promise I had made to Grandmere Catherine should anything bad happen to her.

    Ruby

  • The housefly is the Ferrari of the insect world and can change course in as little as 30 thousandths of a second.

    Clipmarks | Live Clips

  • Creepy animals are only too plentiful, the most objectionable at present is the common housefly which is a perfect plague.

    The Incomparable 29th and the "River Clyde"

  • Well the North Koreans got two out of three correct, but they forgot to add that she is a windbag who is about as threatening as a housefly.

    North Korea: Clinton 'funny lady, by no means intelligent'

  • We have people living in cardboard boxes and starving to death and little kids crying out for homes and families and these people are worried about a housefly!!!!

    I saw that the President got his first "kill" yesterday. The PETA-philes have their undies in a wad.

  • Two insects, a moth and a housefly, escaped from his mouth and flew up to the chandelier, hovering near the light, wings flapping.

    Insect Eater

  • Any human—unless willfully ignorant or just stubborn for stubbornness, like a mule or a ball of unraveled cotton twine in a kitchen junk drawer its looping patterns often resembling the meanderings of a housefly stimulated by a drop of sugar water—can perfectly understand Velveeta.

    On Writing about Velveeta

  • His "To Know a Fly" (not an easy task — there are more than 50,000 species) is an exuberant investigation of such matters as taste, hunger and satiation and their role in the survival of the humble housefly.

    The Fittest Books On Animal Survival

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