fruit fly


Definition of fruit fly 

: any of various small dipteran flies (such as a drosophila) whose larvae feed on fruit or decaying vegetable matter

Examples of fruit fly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

There is a purely scientific application for the DelFly that includes studying and replicating insect flight dynamics and high-agility maneuvers, like the ones that fruit flies use to evade predators or humans. Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "The DelFly Nimble robot can fly like a real insect," 14 Sep. 2018 Similar experiments with fruit flies complemented those results. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 Flying insects like bees, dragonflies, and fruit flies can perform impressive aerodynamic feats, particularly when seeking to evade predators or the swatting motion of a human hand. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "This nifty flying robot can hover, bank, and turn as deftly as a fruit fly," 13 Sep. 2018 New research shows that for male fruit flies, the process of ejaculation might actually be quite pleasurable. National Geographic, "Fruit Flies Likely Enjoy Sex, Offering Clues Into Drug Addiction," 19 Apr. 2018 Pests controlled: Yellow traps attract whiteflies, fruit flies, male winged scales, leafhoppers, fungus gnats, midges, male winged mealybugs and leafminers, thrips, psyllids, and winged aphids. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "The 7 Best Organic Pest Control Techniques For Your Garden," 18 Dec. 2017 In the last two decades, researchers have identified sleep-like behavior in fruit flies, tiny nematodes, and even a brainless jellyfish. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Brainless Creatures Can Do Some Incredibly Smart Things," 21 May 2018 Until now, the four genes were thought to be one, NOTCH2NL, itself a spinoff of the NOTCH gene family, which controls the timing of development in everything from fruit flies to whales. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Trio of genes supercharged human brain evolution," 31 May 2018 Formal studies have shown that the sweetener erythritol, which is approved for human consumption, can be fatal to fruit flies, suggesting it could be used as an insecticide. Anna Diamond, Smithsonian, "Do Marine Mammals Yawn and More Questions From Our Readers," 28 June 2018

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

circa 1753, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

27 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for fruit fly

The first known use of fruit fly was circa 1753

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More Definitions for fruit fly

fruit fly


Medical Definition of fruit fly 

: any of various small dipteran flies (as a drosophila) whose larvae feed on fruit or decaying vegetable matter

More from Merriam-Webster on fruit fly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fruit fly Encyclopedia article about fruit fly

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having a pattern of small flowers

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