\ ˈnat How to pronounce gnat (audio) \

Definition of gnat

: any of various small usually biting dipteran flies

Other Words from gnat

gnatty \ ˈna-​tē How to pronounce gnat (audio) \ adjective

Examples of gnat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The virus that causes EHD is carried by a biting gnat known as a midge and is both contagious and fatal. Gabriela Miranda, USA TODAY, 28 Oct. 2021 Haugen essentially shrugged off this concern, equating the digression with a gnat trying to distract from the elephant in the room. Washington Post, 5 Oct. 2021 Bands that often had a gnat’s lifespan, with names such as Metelica, the Fabulous Frauleins, and Satan’s Breed., 16 Aug. 2021 As any entomologist would tell you, a gnat is one of many species of tiny, flying insects—biting and non-biting—in the dipterid suborder Nematocera, especially those in the families Mycetophilidae, Anisopodidae and Sciaridae. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, 23 July 2021 The composite image is made of seven frames that show the space station’s path across the sun, looking like a little gnat flying across an orange. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, 30 June 2021 Squeezing so much energy into such a tiny object—a trillion times smaller than a speck of dust—far exceeds the capabilities of humankind’s accelerators, which, at their best, only manage to produce particles with about the energy of a flying gnat. Katrina Miller, Scientific American, 27 Apr. 2021 Schiap might have been seen as a gnat-like rival by Coco Chanel, but her approach to fashion was in line with that of her artist friends, especially Salvador Dalí, who included an ant on his 1944 cover for Vogue. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, 8 Oct. 2020 There are species of gnat and fly that routinely make their homes within magic mushrooms. Gareth Cook, Scientific American, 24 June 2020

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gnat

Middle English, from Old English gnætt; akin to Old English gnagan to gnaw

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Time Traveler for gnat

Time Traveler

The first known use of gnat was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near gnat

gnash one's teeth



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Statistics for gnat

Last Updated

31 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gnat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for gnat



English Language Learners Definition of gnat

: a small fly that bites people and animals


\ ˈnat How to pronounce gnat (audio) \

Kids Definition of gnat

: a very small usually biting fly


\ ˈnat How to pronounce gnat (audio) \

Medical Definition of gnat

: any of various small usually biting dipteran flies (as a midge or blackfly)

More from Merriam-Webster on gnat

Nglish: Translation of gnat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gnat for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about gnat


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