noun (plural gadflies)
1A fly that bites livestock, especially a horsefly, warble fly, or botfly.
- Later, Hera sent the notorious gadfly to continuously bite and irritate Io.
- She was tormented by a furious little gadfly that bit her mercilessly, though she flicked her tail this way and that.
- Zeus had once tried to seduce the lovely Io, but Hera, his jealous wife, had discovered her husband's intentions and turned poor Io into a cow, left to wander about the earth, constantly pursued and tormented by a pestilent gadfly.
1.1A person who annoys or criticizes others in order to provoke them into action: always a gadfly, he attacked intellectual orthodoxies
More example sentences
- But he admits he is curious: what has the liberal gadfly done to annoy so many conservatives like him?
- The gadfly soon became an annoyance to both the MTA and the union, creating a newsletter which aired workers' grievances but criticised alleged union inaction.
- I have always considered him sort of a Socratic gadfly.
Definition of gadfly in:
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.