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

  • n. Paper coated with a sticky, sometimes poisonous substance, used to catch flies.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A strip of paper coated with a sticky, often poisonous, substance that catches and kills flies that land on it

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. poisoned or sticky paper for killing flies that feed upon or are entangled by it.
  • n. A strip of paper that is coated with a sticky substance and suspended from an overhead object to trap and kill flies; also, a similar paper poisoned so as to kill flies on contact.
  • n. paper covered with a sticky preparation, -- used for catching flies.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Poisoned paper used for killing flies, or a paper with an adhesive coating to which flies adhere.

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

  • n. paper that is poisoned or coated with a sticky substance to kill flies


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • If our troops in Iraq are just "flypaper" -- sitting-duck targets to attract terrorist bombers -- why not try to get the Palestinian suicide bombers to go after them, too?

    Random feeds from

  • Aura watches the pot of flypaper, which is boiling too vigorously, and lowers the flame.

    The Lady Matador’s Hotel

  • The Bush administration hoped that Iraq would draw terrorists to one place, making them easier to kill, the so-called flypaper theory.

    CNN Transcript Jul 13, 2007

  • It's called the flypaper theory in itself a monumentally stupid notion as the attacks in London last year demonstrated and the imperialist hubris behind such an attitude is truly sickening.

    Wrongs and Responsibilities

  • President Clinton correctly says that NAFTA has become a "flypaper" for many economic discontents, from corporate "downsizing" to low wages, that have nothing to do with Mexico.

    The Isolationist Illusion

  • Well, it's said that Sturges had Paramount ask Disney for permission to use that specific cartoon -- there's apparently a note in the files with the phrase "Get 'flypaper' cartoon" -- and after the great success of LADY EVE, Paramount was willing to humor the filmmaker.

    Sylvester Gets His Due

  • I appreciate Richard Toner's letter but disagree with him on what is often called the "flypaper" theory of America's Iraq strategy: that we can attract the world's terrorists to Iraq and kill them there.

    Letters to the Editor

  • I have used the language over the years of "flypaper" theory of taxation --- borrowing from public finance theory the idea of whether or not a tax would 'stick' where government officials intended; or "institutional stickiness" and "path dependency" building on the intellectual framework developed by Menger and Mises on the evolution and acceptance of money.

    The Austrian Economists:

  • That is particularly interesting in light of the recently revived and ever popular "flypaper" excuse.


  • As for the "flypaper" excuse, well, I guess recent events show just how lame that is on BOTH fronts--Americans and Iraqis get killed over there, while it looks like the entire globe is no safer--hell, even Bush admitted as much at Ft.

    Your Right Hand Thief


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