robber fly


: any of a family (Asilidae) of predaceous dipteran flies including some resembling bumblebees

Examples of robber fly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There are nearly 7,000 different species of robber flies in the world — about 1,000 in North America alone. Stephen C. George, Discover Magazine, 8 May 2023 And to keep grasshoppers at bay, plant marigolds, calendula, or sunflowers nearby to attract robber flies, which attack grasshoppers. Deb Wiley, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 Apr. 2023 The robber fly was chosen because of its highly predictable interception path to catch prey. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 15 Feb. 2022 Karin Nordstrom at Flinders University tells Yong that this study raises the possibility that other predator insects including robber flies and dragonflies also use stereopsis. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, 10 Feb. 2018

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

1869, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of robber fly was in 1869

Dictionary Entries Near robber fly

Cite this Entry

“Robber fly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

robber fly

: any of various two-winged flies that eat insects and are covered with coarse bristly hairs

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