What does gadfly mean?

Definitions for gadfly

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word gadfly.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. pest, blighter, cuss, pesterer, gadflynoun

    a persistently annoying person

  2. gadflynoun

    any of various large flies that annoy livestock


  1. gadflynoun

    Any dipterous insect of the genus Oestrus, and allied group of botflies.

  2. gadflynoun

    A horsefly: any of various species of fly, of the family Tabanid[ae], noted for buzzing about animals and sucking their blood.

  3. gadflynoun

    One who upsets the status quo by posing upsetting or novel questions, or attempts to stimulate innovation by proving an irritant.

  4. gadflynoun

    One who merely irritates without making useful suggestions.

  5. gadflynoun

    A bloodsucker

    He's a regular gadfly and takes advantage of his friend's generosity.

  6. Etymology: "fly which bites cattle", from gaddr.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Gadflynoun

    A fly that when he stings the cattle makes them gad or run madly about; the breese.

    Etymology: gad and fly; but by Stephen Skinner, who makes it the original of gad, goadfly. Supposed to be originally from goad, in Saxon gad, and fly.

    The fly called the gadfly breedeth of somewhat that swimeth upon the top of the water, and is most about ponds. Francis Bacon.

    Light fly his slumbers, if perchance a flight
    Of angry gadflies fasten on the herd. James Thomson, Summer.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Gadflynoun

    any dipterous insect of the genus Oestrus, and allied genera of botflies

  2. Etymology: [Gad + fly.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Gadfly

    gad′flī, n. a fly which pierces the skin of cattle in order to deposit its eggs: a mischievous gadabout. [From gad, n., fly.]

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of gadfly in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of gadfly in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

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"gadfly." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 28 May 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/gadfly>.

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    cause to spread or flush or flood through, over, or across
    • A. exacerbate
    • B. fluster
    • C. suffuse
    • D. aberrate

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