kissing bug


: any of various large bloodsucking bugs and especially some assassin bugs (genus Triatoma) including some capable of inflicting painful bites

called also conenose

Examples of kissing bug in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The American counterpart to the Tsetse fly, which causes African sleeping sickness, kissing bugs bear a parasite from the same genus (Trypanosoma) in their feces. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 29 Feb. 2024 Some kissing bugs can carry the parasite that causes Chagas disease, which, left untreated, can lead to serious heart or digestive problems. Women's Health, 1 May 2023 Transmission can occur through several routes including insect bites, from mother to child during pregnancy or child birth, during blood transfusion or when eating food infected by kissing bugs or their feces. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Apr. 2023 This is despite the fact that triatomine insects, or kissing bugs, which transmit T. cruzi, are commonly found in the communities where these people live. Byrodrigo Pérez Ortega,, 8 Mar. 2023 But few people are aware of the kissing bug. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, 19 June 2021 After a desperate hospital visit, one specialist landed on a diagnosis: Chagas, or kissing bug disease. Jennifer Walter, Discover Magazine, 8 July 2021 This parasitic infection, which is carried by the quarter-sized, blood-sucking kissing bug native to the Americas, afflicts at least 300,000 people in the U.S. today. Jennifer Walter, Discover Magazine, 8 July 2021 The kissing bug feeds only at night, so information gleaned about its hosts during the day is irrelevant. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 18 Aug. 2015

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'kissing bug.' 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

1899, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kissing bug was in 1899

Dictionary Entries Near kissing bug

Cite this Entry

“Kissing bug.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

kissing bug

kiss·​ing bug ˈkis-iŋ-ˌbəg How to pronounce kissing bug (audio)

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