house·​fly | \ ˈhau̇s-ˌflī How to pronounce housefly (audio) \

Definition of housefly

: a cosmopolitan dipteran fly (Musca domestica) that is often about human habitations and may act as a mechanical vector of diseases (such as typhoid fever) also : any of various flies of similar appearance or habitat

Examples of housefly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Just as Pence was discussing racial injustice and the police killing of Breonna Taylor, a housefly landed on his head. Angela Watercutter, Wired, "The Pence-Harris Debate Is Over—but Let’s Talk About the Fly," 7 Oct. 2020 On May 13, 1984, as the Globe Star negotiated the Atlantic, the crew received a visit from a housefly. Margalit Fox,, "Marvin Creamer, a mariner who sailed like the ancients, 104," 20 Aug. 2020 Somehow, someway, my wife and I have worked from home part-time while corralling a 3-year-old who has the patience of a housefly. Pete Croatto, Good Housekeeping, "Paying for Childcare During a Pandemic Puts Parents in an Impossible Position," 4 June 2020 On Adam’s computer screen, the ship now looked like a robotic housefly, its proboscis probing toward an enormous, crumbly piece of gray bread. Chris Wright, Wired, "The Remarkable Stuff Scientists Get Done as They Work From Home," 8 June 2020 About two to three times the size of a common housefly, these parasites especially love livestock. Jason Bittel, National Geographic, "Why the government breeds and releases billions of flies a year," 11 Dec. 2019 Flies and Gnats An infestation of houseflies, gnats, fruit flies, midges and other flying insects is best remedied by a multi-level approach. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Get Rid of Common House Pests," 17 Feb. 2020 Barrett tossed up a high floater, and Howard rose higher still and swatted the ball as if slapping a housefly. Michael Powell, New York Times, "The Knicks Were 0-for-Los Angeles, but There May Be Signs of Hope," 8 Jan. 2020 Here Ocasek, in his usual Roy Orbison-as-beanpole getup, became a visual motif and a special effect, popping up in a woman’s life in the form of a King Kong, a coat hanger, a periscope in sunglasses, a housefly landing on her nose. Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, "Ric Ocasek’s Eternal Cool," 16 Sep. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for housefly

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The first known use of housefly was in the 15th century

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Statistics for housefly

Last Updated

16 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Housefly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for housefly


How to pronounce housefly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of housefly

: a common fly that lives in or near people's houses


house·​fly | \ ˈhau̇s-ˌflī How to pronounce housefly (audio) \
plural houseflies

Kids Definition of housefly

: a fly that is common in houses and may carry disease germs


house·​fly | \ -ˌflī How to pronounce housefly (audio) \
plural houseflies

Medical Definition of housefly

: a cosmopolitan dipteran fly of the genus Musca (M. domestica) that is often found about human habitations and may act as a mechanical vector of diseases (as typhoid fever) also : any of various flies of similar appearance or habitat

More from Merriam-Webster on housefly

Nglish: Translation of housefly for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about housefly

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