mos·​qui·​to | \ mə-ˈskē-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce mosquito (audio) \
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

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Other Words from mosquito

mosquitoey \ mə-​ˈskē-​tə-​wē How to pronounce mosquitoey (audio) \ adjective

Examples of mosquito in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Additional highlights include a mosquito misting system, a sprinkler system and an oversized two-car garage with alley access. Lisa Zapalac, Houston Chronicle, "Craftsman-style bungalow offers Heights charm," 24 June 2018 Talk of gene editing mosquitos has happened for several years now, going back to at least 2015. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Experiments Show 'Gene Drive' Technique Could Wipe Out Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes," 24 Sep. 2018 Robles said, explaining that heat advances the life cycles of mosquitoes. Hannah Holzer, sacbee, "Vigilance urged as Sacramento region leads state in West Nile virus activity," 12 July 2018 There have been ballot referendums on whether to release certain kinds of mosquitoes into communities. Jack Payne,, "Insects as art: How Florida can overcome the yuck factor," 9 July 2018 West Nile Virus is a viral disease primarily transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: With West Nile a threat and numbers down, the ruffed grouse season will end early," 27 June 2018 Vectors like mosquitoes depend on wet weather and live in a range defined by temperature. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "US tries to bury report on climate change’s dire health, economic impacts," 26 Nov. 2018 But mosquitoes can pick it up and carry it to people on occasion. NBC News, "Moving lump in woman's face was a worm, doctors say," 22 June 2018 Cold winters have served as a key check on mosquito populations that carry viruses like dengue and Zika. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Winters are warming faster than summers. These US cities could lose weeks of freezing days by 2050.," 21 Dec. 2018

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

23 Apr 2019

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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 How to pronounce mosquito (audio) \
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) How to pronounce mosquito (audio) \
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).


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