noun \mə-ˈskē-(ˌ)tō\

: a small flying insect that bites the skin of people and animals and sucks their blood

plural mos·qui·toes also mos·qui·tos

Full Definition of MOSQUITO

:  any of a family (Culicidae) of dipteran flies with females that have a set of slender organs in the proboscis adapted to puncture the skin of animals and to suck their blood and that are in some cases vectors of serious diseases
mos·qui·to·ey \-ˈskē-tə-wē\ adjective

Illustration of MOSQUITO

Origin of MOSQUITO

Spanish, diminutive of mosca fly, from Latin musca — more at midge
First Known Use: circa 1583

Other Insect Terms

drone, entomology, gadfly, pismire, proboscis, vespine


noun \mə-ˈskēt-(ˌ)ō, -ə(-w)\   (Medical Dictionary)
plural mos·qui·toes also mos·qui·tos

Medical Definition of MOSQUITO

: any of numerous dipteran flies of the family Culicidae that have a rather narrow abdomen, usually a long slender rigid proboscis, and narrow wings with a fringe of scales on the margin and usually on each side of the wing veins, that have in the male broad feathery antennae and mouthparts not fitted for piercing and in the female slender antennae and a set of needlelike organs in the proboscis with which they puncture the skin of animals to suck the blood, that lay their eggs on the surface of stagnant water, that include many species which pass through several generations in the course of a year and hibernate as adults or winter in the egg state, and that include some species which are the only vectors of certain diseases—see aedes, anopheles, culex

Illustration of MOSQUITO


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Mosquito (Theobaldia anulata)—N.A. Callow/EB Inc.

Any of 2,500 dipteran species in the family Culicidae. The females of most species require a blood meal to mature their eggs. Through bloodsucking, females of various species (genera Aedes, Anopheles, and Culex) transmit human diseases, including dengue fever, encephalitis, filariasis, malaria, yellow fever, and elephantiasis. The adult has a long proboscis, a slender, elongated body, and long, fragile legs. The males (and sometimes the females) feed on plant juices. The female's characteristic sound is made by the vibration of thin membranes on the thorax. The females lay their eggs on the surface of a body of usually stagnant water, and the eggs hatch into aquatic larvae (wrigglers). In the far north larvae pass the winter frozen into ice. The wrigglers are eaten by fishes and aquatic insects, the adults by birds and dragonflies. Control measures have included elimination of breeding sites, application of surface films of oil to clog the larvae's breathing tubes, and use of larvicides.


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