tsetse fly

tset·​se fly | \ ˈ(t)set-sē- How to pronounce tsetse fly (audio) , ˈtet-, ˈ(t)sēt-, ˈtēt- How to pronounce tsetse fly (audio) \

Definition of tsetse fly

: any of several dipteran flies (genus Glossina) that occur in Africa south of the Sahara and include vectors of human and animal trypanosomes

called also tsetse

— compare sleeping sickness

Examples of tsetse fly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

While Botswana’s northern swampland was ridden with disease-carrying tsetse flies and malaria, Mr. Selby and his clients traversed the bush in style. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Harry Selby, one of the last and greatest of Africa’s ‘great white hunters,’ dies at 92," 22 Jan. 2018 The tsetse fly, which spreads sleeping sickness, nourishes its grub inside a bizarrely mammalian uterus and feeds it with a milklike fluid—one that’s laden with microbes. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "The Wasp That Paints Its Nursery In Bacteria," 12 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tsetse fly.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of tsetse fly

1865, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tsetse fly

Afrikaans, from Tswana tsètsè fly

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tsetse fly

Dictionary Entries near tsetse fly



tsetse disease

tsetse fly




Statistics for tsetse fly

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tsetse fly

The first known use of tsetse fly was in 1865

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tsetse fly

tsetse fly


English Language Learners Definition of tsetse fly

: a kind of fly found in Africa that bites people and animals, sucks their blood, and can spread a serious disease (called sleeping sickness) to humans

tsetse fly


Medical Definition of tsetse fly

: any of several dipteran flies of the genus Glossina that occur in sub-Saharan Africa and include vectors of human and animal trypanosomes (as those causing sleeping sickness and nagana)

called also tsetse

More from Merriam-Webster on tsetse fly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tsetse fly

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tsetse fly

Comments on tsetse fly

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


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!