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gadfly

[gad-flahy] /ˈgædˌflaɪ/
noun, plural gadflies.
1.
any of various flies, as a stable fly or warble fly, that bite or annoy domestic animals.
2.
a person who persistently annoys or provokes others with criticism, schemes, ideas, demands, requests, etc.
Origin
1585-1595
1585-95; gad2 + fly2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for gadfly
  • He's both a gadfly and a visionary, whose cowboy trappings disguise the singularity of his purpose.
  • Research into the subject quickly identifies one major gadfly.
  • Perhaps it's a common denominator of those who feel they must play the role of unwanted gadfly.
  • He was a gadfly, moving in and out of the local courts and federal agencies.
  • Send out a gadfly to study on-the-ground innovations happening elsewhere.
British Dictionary definitions for gadfly

gadfly

/ˈɡædˌflaɪ/
noun (pl) -flies
1.
any of various large dipterous flies, esp the horsefly, that annoy livestock by sucking their blood
2.
a constantly irritating or harassing person
Word Origin
C16: from gad² (sting) + fly²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gadfly
n.

1620s, "fly which bites cattle," probably from gad (n.) "goad, metal rod," here in the sense of "stinger;" but the sense is entangled with gad (v.) and another early meaning of gadfly was "someone who likes to go about, often stopping here and there" (1610s). Sense of "one who irritates another" is from 1640s (equivalent of Latin oestrus).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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14
15
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