lightning bug


Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Fireflies, known as lightning bugs in the South and Midwest, are neither flies nor bugs. Madeline Bodin, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 May 2023 Chen is creating flying lightning bug robots. Pranshu Verma, Washington Post, 8 Oct. 2022 This makes measuring the range and abundance of firefly populations challenging even while fears mount that many lightning bug species are on the road to extinction. Joshua Sokol, Quanta Magazine, 20 Sep. 2022 In fact, Indiana’s state insect is a lightning bug. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 28 June 2022 Then, one by one, pick them out and do them, whether it’s riding bikes to get ice cream or catching lightning bugs in the backyard. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 1 June 2020 In another scene where what’s going on around the main actors is more distracting than their dialogue, Shannon brings Grace to a place to propose that, according to the characters, is filled with beautiful lightning bugs. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, 18 Jan. 2020 Fireflies, aka lightning bugs, are facing a triple extinction threat from habitat loss, artificial light and pesticide use, new research suggests. Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY, 5 Feb. 2020 Most miracles be small— lightning bugs flicking off & on in the dusk before the storm, hoping to be caught by fire & each other. Kevin Young, The New Republic, 21 Nov. 2019 See More

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

1778, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lightning bug was in 1778

Dictionary Entries Near lightning bug

Cite this Entry

“Lightning bug.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

lightning bug


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