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

  • n. Any of various small, biting, two-winged flies, such as a punkie or black fly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any small insect of the order Diptera, specifically within the suborder Nematocera.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A blood-sucking dipterous fly, of the genus Culex, undergoing a metamorphosis in water. The females have a proboscis armed with needlelike organs for penetrating the skin of animals. These are wanting in the males. In America they are generally called mosquitoes. See mosquito.
  • n. Any fly resembling a Culex in form or habits; esp., in America, a small biting fly of the genus Simulium and allies, as the buffalo gnat, the black fly, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A small two-winged fly, Culex pipiens, of the family Culicidæ, suborder Nemocera, and order Diptera, called in America mosquito.
  • n. Any other insect of the family Culicidæ.—
  • n. A nemocerous dipterous insect; a midge.
  • n. A bird: same as knot.

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

  • n. (British usage) mosquito
  • n. any of various small biting flies: midges; biting midges; black flies; sand flies


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

Middle English, from Old English gnæt.



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  • according to Tony, "A gnat is inelegant code. It's not quite a bug."

    September 30, 2011

  • Tang in reverse.

    November 3, 2007