gambusia

noun
gam·bu·sia | \gam-ˈbü-zh(ē-)ə, -ˈbyü-\

Definition of gambusia 

: any of a genus (Gambusia) of live-bearers (family Poeciliidae) including some introduced as exterminators of mosquito larvae in warm fresh waters — compare mosquito fish

Examples of gambusia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Barbour’s map turtle, the Big Blue Springs cave crayfish, and the San Felipe gambusia were also left off the list. Nick Tabor, Daily Intelligencer, "55 Ways Donald Trump Structurally Changed America in 2017," 21 Dec. 2017 Tight to the shoreline, especially in the shallows where water willow and other aquatic vegetation have gained a root-hold, a half-dozen or more species of small fish - gambusia, shiners and minnows - cluster nervously and for good reason. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Finding treasures on the upper Nueces," 21 Oct. 2017 Keep your ponds mosquito-free by adding some gambusia affinis — the mosquitofish — and throwing in a few mosquito donuts. 6. Jamie Wiebe, House Beautiful, "The Sneaky Places Mosquitoes Hide in Your Yard," 6 Aug. 2017 Saba gives some of the credit to the inch-long gambusia. Keith Sharon, Orange County Register, "The world’s deadliest animal lives in your backyard," 17 May 2017 Lake County officials are also deploying larvicides and sprays, as well as gambusia minnows, which eat mosquito larvae, Scott said. Amelia Cheatham, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Summer showers bring surge in mosquitoes," 12 July 2017

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

circa 1889, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gambusia

borrowed from New Latin, genus name, from Cuban Spanish gambusino (in the idiom pescar gambusinos "to engage in a fruitless activity," literally, "to fish for gambusinos"; of uncertain origin) + New Latin -ia -ia entry 1

Note: The name Gambusia was introduced by the Cuban zoologist Felipe Poey (1799-1891) in Memorias sobre la historia natural de la isla de Cuba, vol. 1 (Havana, 1851), pp. 382-83. Poey states somewhat cryptically "El nombre debe su etimología á la palabra provincial cubana Gambusino, que significa nada, con idea de chasco ó burla: así se dice pescar Gambusinos cuando no se pesca nada." ("The name owes it etymology to the provincial Cuban word Gambusino, which means nothing, in the context of a joke or jest: so one says 'to catch Gambusinos' when nothing is caught.") Though unstated, the implication is perhaps that the word gambusino is actually a local name for the fish Gambusia punctata—otherwise, his coinage lacks evident motivation. Note that while Poey gives guajacón as the vernacular name for Gambusia punctata, the corresponding name for his Gambusia puncticulata is gambusito. Gambusino is entered in several lexica of 19th-century Cuban Spanish with basically the same meaning as given by Poey but no further etymological illumination (perhaps earliest in Esteban Pichardo Tapia, Diccionario provincial de voces cubanos, 1836).

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Dictionary Entries near gambusia

gambrel

gambrel roof

gambs

gambusia

game

game animal

game bag

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The first known use of gambusia was circa 1889

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