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

Freezing temperatures can kill off mosquito larvae, reducing their numbers in the spring. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Winters are warming faster than summers. These US cities could lose weeks of freezing days by 2050.," 21 Dec. 2018 The camper’s front walls can be used open or covered with mosquito netting, and screen windows on either end of the camper allow for airflow. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Remote-controlled camper trailer pops up in 30 seconds," 19 Oct. 2018 Tires Who wants a stack of old tires breeding mosquitoes in the neighborhood? Mike Allen, Popular Mechanics, "How to Dispose of Hazardous Waste Without Damaging the Environment," 9 Oct. 2018 Summer has arrived and along with the heat and rain comes an increase in mosquitoes. Austen Erblat,, "Royal Palm Beach, Wellington to spray for mosquitoes ahead of Fourth of July," 22 June 2018 Interestingly, no similar protein is found in mosquitoes. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Researchers identify a protein that viruses use as gateway into cells," 24 May 2018 Police surrounded the area, but mosquitoes were on the prowl. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Flake & Co. try to tame partisan wildfire," 28 Sep. 2018 Population suppression approaches are self-limiting by design — all mosquitoes carrying the genes are sterile or die. Anthony A. James, STAT, "Gene-drive technology must be developed in a safe, ethical way," 10 July 2018 Use prevention methods whenever mosquitoes are present. Staff Report, Aurora Beacon-News, "Mosquitoes near Elburn test positive for West Nile virus," 15 June 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

19 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mosquito

The first known use of mosquito was in 1572

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More Definitions for mosquito



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

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