noun, plural mayflies.
Also called shadfly. any insect of the order Ephemeroptera, having delicate, membranous wings with the front pair much larger than the rear and having an aquatic larval stage and a terrestrial adult stage usually lasting less than two days.
Also, May fly. Angling. an artificial fly made to resemble this insect.

1645–55; May + fly2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mayfly (ˈmeɪˌflaɪ)
n , pl -flies
1.  Also called: dayfly any insect of the order Ephemeroptera (or Ephemerida). The short-lived adults, found near water, have long tail appendages and large transparent wings; the larvae are aquatic
2.  angling an artificial fly resembling this

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
Writer was hoping to be on the river coinciding with a hatch of the gib mayfly called the green drake.
The mayfly is known for its incredibly short adult life.
The mayfly is born, lives through middle-age, and then dies.
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