hov·​er·​fly ˈhə-vər-ˌflī How to pronounce hoverfly (audio)
: any of a family (Syrphidae) of dipteran flies that are noted for frequenting flowers and hovering at one place in the air and include some whose larvae prey on plant lice

called also syrphid fly

Examples of hoverfly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the new study, researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences observed 12 species of solitary bee and hoverfly, harmless relatives of the pests that swarm our garbage, collecting pseudopollen from C. wardii orchids in the forested mountains of Sichuan province. Richard Pallardy, Science | AAAS, 12 May 2021 To glean insights from the hoverfly, the team spent more than a decade carefully studying the neuronal pathways of its eyes and measuring their electrical responses to light. Monique Brouillette, Scientific American, 20 Apr. 2022 For this study, the researchers examined the hoverfly’s visual system to develop a tool that uses similar mechanisms to clean up noisy data. Monique Brouillette, Scientific American, 20 Apr. 2022 What’s more, some of the most important hoverfly species are migratory, so huge numbers can turn up and far outnumber honeybees at crucial times of the year. Stephanie Pain, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Mar. 2021 There have also been reports of great hoverfly migrations in the US, Nepal and Australia, suggesting that the phenomenon is widespread. Stephanie Pain, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Mar. 2021 Chiffchaffs and willow warblers sing in the sallow and alder, while every leaf seems to hold a butterfly or dragonfly or hoverfly. The Economist, 5 July 2018

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

Word History

First Known Use

1881, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hoverfly was in 1881

Dictionary Entries Near hoverfly

Cite this Entry

“Hoverfly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoverfly. Accessed 23 May. 2024.

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