: any of various small usually biting dipteran flies
gnatty adjective

Examples of gnat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The trap starts working immediately to attract, trap, and kill flies, fruit flies, moths, and gnats, protecting rooms up to 600 square feet. Rachel Ahrnsen, Better Homes & Gardens, 6 Oct. 2023 Find it on Amazon An Indoor Fly Trap That Doesn’t Have to Hide This Indoor Fly Trap lures in flies, fruit flies, moths, gnats, and more with ruthless efficiency. Kathy Barr, Rolling Stone, 26 Sep. 2023 The main concern is infections from a category of viruses called arboviruses, which are viruses transmitted to humans from arthropods—mostly insects such as fleas, ticks, gnats, and mosquitoes. Larry Brilliant, Foreign Affairs, 20 Dec. 2022 Just pop the trap right in the soil like a stake, and wait for gnats to be attracted to the bright yellow sticky trap. Helen Bradshaw, Popular Science, 9 Nov. 2023 Price at time of publish: $18 Product Details: Type: Light trap | Quantity: One | Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor | Target Species: Flies, fruit flies, drain flies, moths, and gnats The Rescue! Rachel Ahrnsen, Better Homes & Gardens, 6 Oct. 2023 If your houseplants are infested with tiny, flying gnats, reduce watering. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Sep. 2023 The best tips to keep ants (and other bugs like gnats and fruit flies) away from your food is to seal open bags and boxes or transfer anything that can't be resealed into airtight containers that ants (and other critters) can't breach. Kate McGregor, House Beautiful, 29 Aug. 2023 On June 2, 1959, Orioles pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm was chased from the mound by a cloud of gnats that encircled the mound at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. Mike Klingaman, Baltimore Sun, 28 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gnat.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Old English gnætt; akin to Old English gnagan to gnaw

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gnat was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near gnat

Cite this Entry

“Gnat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


: any of various small usually biting two-winged flies

Medical Definition


: any of various small usually biting dipteran flies (as a midge or blackfly)

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