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

Examples of gnat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The spacecraft also detected a significant number of particles already orbiting Bennu like a cloud of gnats. Wired, "No One Knows Why Rocks Are Exploding From Asteroid Bennu," 5 Dec. 2019 As the head of the Chaparral Institute, his opposition is strongly informed by a mission to protect native chaparral and coastal sage scrub habitat, which provide habitat for everything from gnat-catchers to trapdoor spiders. Joshua Emerson Smith, Los Angeles Times, "Cal Fire plans to rip out vegetation in San Diego County. But will that add fuel to a blaze?," 30 Sep. 2019 Despite a two-year dormancy period for the football program, the budding rivalry between UAB and Louisiana Tech was alive and well in building tension as tight as a gnat’s posterior. Evan Dudley, al, "UAB welcomes Louisiana Tech for crucial division showdown," 20 Nov. 2019 That may seem obvious, but pouring out your leftover brew that contains sweeteners or dairy could attract pests, like gnats. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Gardening Experts Says You Should Actually Be Watering Your Plants With Coffee," 23 July 2019 The members of West’s Sunday Service Choir sing in ascending and descending zig-zags, at a mishmash of tempos, as a piano spirals like a friendly gnat. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Kanye West Strains His Voice on Jesus Is King," 29 Oct. 2019 All right, so our best guess is that it — there were these little, kind of gnats around. Wire Service, The Mercury News, "What was that on Pete Buttigieg’s head during the debate?," 31 July 2019 No one’s trying to kill the gnat or the pondberry bush. NBC News, "Mississippi residents flooded out for four months say the EPA could save them but won't," 13 June 2019 Some of their favorite bugs includes small flies and gnats, ants, tiny insect eggs, larva and even small spiders. Jessica Pollock, The Conversation, "Curious kids: Why don’t hummingbirds get fat or sick from drinking sugary nectar?," 23 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for gnat

Last Updated

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gnat.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for gnat


How to pronounce gnat (audio)

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).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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