Spanish fly

noun

1
: a green blister beetle (Lytta vesicatoria) of southern Europe
2

Examples of Spanish fly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In January 1862, Lewis’ two white roommates accused her of poisoning their wine with Spanish fly, a toxin produced by the blister beetle, often used in those days as an aphrodisiac. Jessica Lynne, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Feb. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Spanish fly.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1634, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Spanish fly was circa 1634

Dictionary Entries Near Spanish fly

Cite this Entry

“Spanish fly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Spanish%20fly. Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

Spanish fly

noun
1
: a green blister beetle (Lytta vesicatoria of the family Meloidae) of southern Europe that is the source of cantharides
2

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