fruit bat


: any of a family (Pteropodidae of the suborder Megachiroptera) of often large tropical and subtropical Old World bats that feed on ripe fruit, pollen, and nectar and that usually use visual navigation rather than echolocation

called also flying fox

Illustration of fruit bat

Illustration of fruit bat
  • fruit bat with fruit

Examples of fruit bat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some of our fruit bat findings may be unrelated to metabolism or are specific only to Jamaican fruit bats. Wei Gordon, Discover Magazine, 12 Jan. 2024 Regarding the Egyptian fruit bats at the exhibit, Becket noted their great sense of smell, one of the biggest brain-to-body-weight ratios of any other breed, and their large eyes that enable them to see in low light and echolocation, which is unusual for a fruit-eating bat. Olivia Deng,, 1 Sep. 2023 It was first identified in pigs in Malaysia and Singapore in the late 1980s, though its natural reservoir is fruit bats. Erin Prater, Fortune Well, 12 Jan. 2024 However, unlike humans, fruit bats thrive on a sugar-rich diet. Wei Gordon, Discover Magazine, 12 Jan. 2024 But no direct test had ever been performed in a highly social setting, such as in a fruit bat colony. Jake Buehler, Quanta Magazine, 31 Oct. 2023 Earlier this month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed 21 species from the U.S. Endangered Species Act due to extinction, including a fruit bat, two types of fish, eight types of mussels and 10 birds. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 26 Oct. 2023 Cruise the Ord River, eyeing fruit bats, short-eared rock wallabies and freshwater crocodiles. Janice Wald Henderson, Travel + Leisure, 17 Nov. 2023 Included in the group of animals now declared extinct are the Little Mariana fruit bat, also known as a flying fox, in Guam; two species of fish, including the San Marcos gambusia in Texas and Scioto madtom in Ohio, and eight species of mussels. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 17 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fruit bat.' 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

1877, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fruit bat was in 1877

Dictionary Entries Near fruit bat

Cite this Entry

“Fruit bat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

fruit bat

: any of numerous large Old World fruit-eating bats of warm regions

called also flying fox

More from Merriam-Webster on fruit bat

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