: any of various small usually biting dipteran flies
gnatty adjective

Examples of gnat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tarrant County health inspectors found flies and gnats at multiple restaurants, a kitchen worker who failed to sanitize surfaces and a bakery with boxes of food that expired more than two years ago. Nicole Lopez, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 22 May 2024 An early one was about a gnat named Gnorm Gnat, but an editor quickly told him that people would most likely not want to read it. Olivia B. Waxman, TIME, 24 May 2024 Fruit flies are a particularly pesky problem in the Southern heat and humidity, and the same goes for most other winged insects, including regular flies, gnats, and mosquitoes, too. Stephanie Osmanski, Southern Living, 14 May 2024 During another federal monitor inspection, visitors found unsanitary conditions including live roaches, ants, water bugs, fruit flies, gnats, and mouse droppings. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, 9 May 2024 Native predators will take care of the gnats for you. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 May 2024 Meanwhile, some potting soils for indoor plants are designed to reduce the prevalence of gnats and other pests that can often plague houseplants. Renee Freemon Mulvihill, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 May 2024 Legions of insects have evolved to help native plants with long-distance reproduction, including butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, midges and gnats. Andrew Van Dam, Washington Post, 29 Mar. 2024 Safer Home Indoor Plug-In Fly Traps $18 $13 More than 5,000 shoppers have added this plug-in fly trap to their cart in the last month and that’s because with seed season, unfortunately, comes gnat season. Stephanie Osmanski, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gnat.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near gnat

Cite this Entry

“Gnat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


: any of various small usually biting two-winged flies

Medical Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on gnat

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