drag·​on·​fly | \ ˈdra-gən-ˌflī How to pronounce dragonfly (audio) \

Definition of dragonfly

: any of a suborder (Anisoptera) of odonate insects that are larger and stouter than damselflies, hold the wings horizontal in repose, and have rectal gills during the naiad stage broadly : odonate

Illustration of dragonfly

Illustration of dragonfly

Examples of dragonfly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While land bugs were dwindling, freshwater insects, such as mayflies, dragonflies and mosquitoes, are increasing at more than 1 percent a year, the study found. NBC News, "Earth's insect population shrinks 27 percent in 30 years," 24 Apr. 2020 Researchers at the University of Delft have also been working on a variety of robot dragonflies since 2005. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "In the 1970s, the CIA Created a Robot Dragonfly Spy. Now We Know How It Works.," 18 Feb. 2020 The International Union for Conservation of Nature now considers this dragonfly vulnerable to extinction. National Geographic, "Dragonflies," 28 Apr. 2020 Doug didn’t realize then what dragonflies would one day mean to him. Michelle Matthews | Mmatthews@al.com, al, "Turn up for turnip fries and more at Dragonfly Foodbar in Fairhope," 2 Oct. 2019 During the war, the helicopter became best known for its dragonfly-like appearance and its ability to lift entire tanks and even two UH-1 Huey helicopters at once. Eric Tegler, Popular Mechanics, "A Vietnam Helo's New Robot Brain Will Help Fight a Different Kind of Enemy," 9 Mar. 2020 The first insects emerged about 412 million years ago, but the biblical language puts that dragonfly—along with Adam and Eve—in the primordial soup. Christian Wiman, Harper's magazine, "The Cancer Chair," 20 Jan. 2020 Hill explained that pollution and humanity's impact on the environment mean that insects like beetles, dragonflies and mayflies are in long-term decline globally. Fox News, "Insect extinctions threaten our way of life, scientists warn," 8 Apr. 2020 Migratory butterflies and dragonflies will soon arrive. cleveland, "Cleveland Metroparks remain open as signs of spring welcome visitors," 27 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dragonfly.' 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 dragonfly

1626, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for dragonfly

Time Traveler

The first known use of dragonfly was in 1626

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Statistics for dragonfly

Last Updated

8 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dragonfly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dragonfly. Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for dragonfly


How to pronounce dragonfly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dragonfly

: a large insect that has a long thin body and four wings and that is often seen near water


drag·​on·​fly | \ ˈdra-gən-ˌflī How to pronounce dragonfly (audio) \
plural dragonflies

Kids Definition of dragonfly

: a large insect with a long slender body and four wings

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More from Merriam-Webster on dragonfly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dragonfly

Spanish Central: Translation of dragonfly

Nglish: Translation of dragonfly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dragonfly

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