Definition of gnat in English:

gnat

Line breaks: gnat

noun

1A small two-winged fly that resembles a mosquito. Gnats include both biting and non-biting forms, and they typically form large swarms.
  • Several families, especially Culicidae (the biting gnats), which includes the common gnat (Culex pipiens)
More example sentences
  • Included among the invertebrates are moth flies, wood gnats, midges, punkies, mosquitoes, marsh beetles, and beelike or wasplike syrphid flies.
  • The Diptera include files, mosquitoes, gnats, midges, and no-see-ums.
  • The swarms of gnats and mosquitoes were annoying, but augured well for our hopes of spotting tiny bug-eating birds.
1.1A person regarded as tiny or insignificant: she’d be marking O’Brien—a gnat trying to curb an elephant
More example sentences
  • Some issues present all the appearances of being designed to separate the gnats from the gadflies, and this is such a one.
  • Why Pagels happily swallows this camel while straining out the gnats of the creed is a mystery.
  • In fact, neither Cathy nor Frank express anything that might resemble an emotion until their bedroom door is locked and the neighbourhood of gossiping gnats is safely locked out of the hidden desperation of their unhappy marriage.

Origin

Old English gnætt, of Germanic origin; related to German Gnitze.

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