dam·​sel·​fly | \ ˈdam-zəl-ˌflī How to pronounce damselfly (audio) \

Definition of damselfly

: any of numerous odonate insects (suborder Zygoptera) distinguished from dragonflies by laterally projecting eyes and usually stalked wings folded above the body when at rest

Examples of damselfly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This is a damselfly, an insect group closely related to dragonflies that have a dantier appearance. Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 22 June 2022 For some species of damselfly, egg laying is a difficult task. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, 25 Oct. 2021 Through hours of watching, Tiplea learned the behaviors of the damselflies, a close relative of dragonflies but with slimmer bodies and narrower wings. Daniel Stone, National Geographic, 12 Dec. 2019 But Yee points out that other, medically relevant mosquitoes have predators similar to damselflies. Jake Buehler, National Geographic, 31 May 2019 But the plantation damselflies had evolved no such resistance. Jake Buehler, National Geographic, 31 May 2019 But damselfly larvae—a major predator of larval mosquitoes—were conspicuously missing from the plantations. Jake Buehler, National Geographic, 31 May 2019 Near his childhood home in suburban Connecticut, Mr. Stager visits a local lily pond and reflects on dragonflies, damselflies and tadpoles. Danny Heitman, WSJ, 25 May 2018 Dragonflies look slightly different than damselflies. John Benson, cleveland.com, 12 Apr. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'damselfly.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of damselfly

1815, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About damselfly

Time Traveler for damselfly

Time Traveler

The first known use of damselfly was in 1815

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near damselfly




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for damselfly

Last Updated

6 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Damselfly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/damselfly. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on damselfly

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about damselfly


Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!