\ ˈnat How to pronounce gnat (audio) \

Definition of gnat

: any of various small usually biting dipteran flies

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Other Words from gnat

gnatty \ -​ē How to pronounce gnatty (audio) \ adjective

Examples of gnat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Bost wipes his face with spicebush leaves, a natural repellent for a cloud of gnats. Robert Langellier, National Geographic, "A legendary Ozark chestnut tree, thought extinct, is rediscovered," 24 June 2019 While mosquitoes are emerging, another biting insect has already arrived: gnats. Zekriah Chaudhry, Twin Cities, "The *%$! mosquitoes are coming … but the #&@! gnats are already here," 7 June 2019 What's the difference between a fruit fly and a gnat? Natalie Schumann, Country Living, "How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies for Good," 9 May 2019 A decade ago, these industry titans saw in Elon Musk just another gnat to be swatted aside like so many who had come before. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Inside the eight desperate weeks that saved SpaceX from ruin," 21 Sep. 2018 These tiny, gnat-sized wasps (which pose no threat to us) attack and kill many insects in our gardens, helping keep pests under control. Dan Gill,, "Can parsley continue to grow through a hot South Louisiana summer?," 14 May 2018 Drive it and empathize with long-haul truckers confronted with all the nuisance drivers buzzing about like gnats at dusk. Robert Duffer,, "Nissan Titan XD is a diesel beast of a truck," 5 July 2018 The best way to clean your sink to avoid flies and gnats is with vinegar and baking soda. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "7 Horrifying Things That Happen When a Fly Gets Into Your House," 18 June 2018 Compared to more conventional data centers that can span football fields, Project Natick’s underwater facility is a gnat at about 40-feet long and resembles a cylinder-like cargo container typically seen on big, shipping vessels. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "Microsoft Just Dumped a Data Center Into the Ocean," 6 June 2018

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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Statistics for gnat

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gnat

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

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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)

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More from Merriam-Webster on gnat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gnat

Spanish Central: Translation of gnat

Nglish: Translation of gnat for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on gnat

What made you want to look up gnat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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