fruit fly

noun

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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Any base in our DNA is twice as likely to mutate as a base in a fruit fly's DNA, for example. Carl Zimmer, Discover Magazine, 7 Jan. 2010 Scientists know a lot about fruit fly brains and nervous systems — much more than those belonging to mammals. Megan Schmidt, Discover Magazine, 14 Dec. 2018 Despite a production life as short as a fruit fly’s, the lure of the DeLorean DMC-12 endures today. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 29 Aug. 2022 With unsurpassed flying ability, dragonflies can grab and eat a fruit fly in midair. Jennifer Rude Klett, Journal Sentinel, 18 Aug. 2022 Previously, the title of world’s largest bacteria belonged to a microbe the size of a fruit fly’s eye. Sumeet Kulkarni, Los Angeles Times, 23 June 2022 However, recent scientific advances using a distant model organism—the fruit fly—may offer a new window into how brain cells could be regenerated in humans. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 11 July 2022 Each female fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs at a time! Natalie Schumann, Country Living, 23 May 2022 Additional honorable mentions were awarded to photos of fruit fly ovaries, an embryonic zebrafish nervous system, and a mouse brain. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 May 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1753, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fruit fly was circa 1753

Dictionary Entries Near fruit fly

Cite this Entry

“Fruit fly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fruit%20fly. Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

fruit fly

noun
: any of various small two-winged flies whose larvae feed on fruit or decaying vegetable matter

Medical Definition

fruit fly

noun
: 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

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