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

Near his childhood home in suburban Connecticut, Mr. Stager visits a local lily pond and reflects on dragonflies, damselflies and tadpoles. Danny Heitman, WSJ, "‘Still Waters: The Secret World of Lakes’ Review: Earth’s Many Eyes," 25 May 2018 Dragonflies look slightly different than damselflies. John Benson, cleveland.com, "Thief steals wire from home under construction: Seven Hills Police Blotter," 12 Apr. 2018 That’s what happened to three 100-million-year-old male damselflies, which gave scientists a peek into the courtship behaviors of these ancient creatures. Erin Blakemore, Smithsonian, "Flirtatious 100-Million-Year-Old Damselflies Found Frozen in Amber," 23 Mar. 2017 Ziegler observes butterflies and damselflies and bees that never descend to the ground, and dozens of species of birds: barbets, paradise tanagers, scarlet macaws that arrive in pairs, and fat, piping guans, which look like elegant turkeys. Christian Ziegler, National Geographic, "One Tiny Wasp Turns a Fig Tree Into a 150-Foot-High Eden," 29 Sep. 2016 The beautiful Amatola Malachite damselfly, which is endangered, and lives in the Eastern Cape mountains of South Africa, is a case in point. Michael Samways, Smithsonian, "Why Small Animals Are Huge for Conservation," 31 Mar. 2017 Mating in modern damselflies and their close kin, the dragonflies, has been described as a complex mix of cooperation and conflict. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "Fossil Male Insect Wooed Mates with Sexy Legs," 22 Mar. 2017 In any case, the eggs are laid in the water, which, contrary to most people's expectations, is where both dragonflies and damselflies spend most of their lives. Ben Raines | Braines@al.com, AL.com, "Stranded in the Delta with nothing but time and a camera," 30 Aug. 2017 Hubick also noted the photo contributions of Bonnie Ott, an Ellicott City resident, and Richard Orr, an expert on dragonflies and damselflies who lives in Columbia. Janene Holzberg, baltimoresun.com, "In search of new species at Howard County Conservancy’s ‘BioBlitz’," 3 Aug. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of damselfly

1815, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for damselfly

The first known use of damselfly was in 1815

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More from Merriam-Webster on damselfly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with damselfly

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about damselfly

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to mark by some ceremony or observation

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