flyblown

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adjective fly·blown \ˈflī-ˌblōn\

Definition of flyblown

  1. 1a :  not pure :  tainted a world flyblown with the vices of irresponsible power — V. L. Parringtonb :  not bright and new :  seedy, moth-eatenc :  trite, hackneyed a long list of flyblown metaphors — Horizon

  2. 2a :  infested with eggs or young larvae of a flesh fly or blowflyb :  covered with flyspecks

flyblown was our Word of the Day on 08/20/2014. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

One meaning of blow (used mostly, it seems, by 17th century entomologists) is "to deposit eggs or larvae on"-hence the blowfly, which lays its eggs on meat or wounds. Flyblown has its origins in the very unpleasant image of a blowfly's victim, and it's from this literal meaning that the more common senses come. Phrases such as flyblown shack and flyblown restaurant still suggest the actual presence of flies, if not necessarily their embryonic precursors.

1528

First Known Use of flyblown

1528


FLYBLOWN Defined for English Language Learners

flyblown

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adjective

Definition of flyblown for English Language Learners

  • : in poor and dirty condition : made dirty by flies : not suitable for eating


Medical Dictionary

flyblown

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adjective fly·blown \-ˌblōn\

Medical Definition of flyblown

  1. 1:  infested with flyblows

  2. 2:  covered with flyspecks

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