mos·​qui·​to | \mə-ˈskē-(ˌ)tō \
plural mosquitoes also mosquitos

Definition of mosquito 

: any of a family (Culicidae) of dipteran flies with females that have a set of slender organs in the proboscis adapted to puncture the skin of animals and to suck their blood and that are in some cases vectors of serious diseases

Illustration of mosquito

Illustration of mosquito

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Other Words from mosquito

mosquitoey \ -​ˈskē-​tə-​wē \ adjective

Examples of mosquito in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The scientists studied a mosquito known as Anopheles gambiae, or An. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Experiments Show 'Gene Drive' Technique Could Wipe Out Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes," 24 Sep. 2018 Like mosquitoes, fireflies love moisture, standing water, and marshy areas, according to firefly researcher Ben Pfeiffer. Rebecca Straus, Good Housekeeping, "5 Ways to Attract Fireflies to Your Yard," 19 July 2018 The increase in disease cases caused by the bite of an infected mosquito, tick or flea in the United States is most likely the result of many factors. The Washington Post,, "Diseases spread by ticks, mosquitoes and fleas have more than tripled," 1 May 2018 And someone with a higher resting heart rate produces more carbon dioxide and more lactic acid, attracting even more mosquitos, says Day. Mackenzie Wagoner, Vogue, "Here’s Why You Are a Mosquito Magnet," 5 July 2018 After a night fending off swarms of mosquitoes in swamplands near the river, [Mauricio Posadas] and his son were caught by the Border Patrol [last month]. Rachel Van Dongen, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: One Republican senator has the power to defeat Trump's Supreme Court nominee," 2 July 2018 But the bee population is threatened in part by the sprays used to control mosquitos from spreading diseases. George Fishman, miamiherald, "This art speaks to the heart. Even when you can see through it. | Miami Herald," 8 May 2018 For more information on how to control mosquitoes, visit the county’s vector control website at Paul Sisson,, "Mosquito season increases risk of West Nile and Zika infection," 3 Apr. 2018 Florida governor Rick Scott warned residents that standing water from Hermine could attract mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "Florida Might Get Its First Hurricane in More Than a Decade," 1 Sep. 2016

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

1572, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mosquito

Spanish, diminutive of mosca fly, from Latin musca — more at midge

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Statistics for mosquito

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for mosquito

The first known use of mosquito was in 1572

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English Language Learners Definition of mosquito

: a small flying insect that bites the skin of people and animals and sucks their blood


mos·​qui·​to | \mə-ˈskē-tō \
plural mosquitoes

Kids Definition of mosquito

: a small fly the female of which punctures the skin of people and animals to suck their blood


mos·​qui·​to | \mə-ˈskēt-(ˌ)ō, -ə(-w) \
plural mosquitoes also mosquitos

Medical Definition of mosquito 

: any of numerous dipteran flies of the family Culicidae that have a rather narrow abdomen, usually a long slender rigid proboscis, and narrow wings with a fringe of scales on the margin and usually on each side of the wing veins, that have in the male broad feathery antennae and mouthparts not fitted for piercing and in the female slender antennae and a set of needlelike organs in the proboscis with which they puncture the skin of animals to suck the blood, that lay their eggs on the surface of stagnant water, that include many species which pass through several generations in the course of a year and hibernate as adults or winter in the egg state, and that include some species which are the only vectors of certain diseases — see aedes, anopheles, culex

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More from Merriam-Webster on mosquito

Spanish Central: Translation of mosquito

Nglish: Translation of mosquito for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mosquito for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about mosquito

Comments on mosquito

What made you want to look up mosquito? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

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