[gad-flahy] /ˈgædˌflaɪ/
noun, plural gadflies.
any of various flies, as a stable fly or warble fly, that bite or annoy domestic animals.
a person who persistently annoys or provokes others with criticism, schemes, ideas, demands, requests, etc.
1585–95; gad2 + fly2
Example Sentences 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)
n , 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
[C16: from gad² (sting) + fly²]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin and History for gadfly
1620s, "fly which bites cattle," probably from gad "goad, metal rod" (early 13c.), here in the sense of "stinger," from O.N. gaddr "spike, nail," from P.Gmc. *gadaz "pointed stick;" but sense is entangled with gad (v.) and an early meaning of gadfly was also "someone who likes to go about, often stopping here and there." Sense of "one who irritates another" is from 1640s (equivalent of L. oestrus).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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