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blow fly

or blowfly

any of numerous dipterous insects of the family Calliphoridae that deposit their eggs or larvae on carrion, excrement, etc., or in wounds of living animals.
Origin of blow fly
1815-25 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for blow-fly
Historical Examples
  • Front region of Maggot of blow-fly (Calliphora) showing diagrammatically the imaginal discs, which are shaded.

    The Life-Story of Insects Geo. H. Carpenter
  • And then reflect upon the motor-scorcher and the earthworm and the blow-fly.

    The Vanishing Man R. Austin Freeman
  • The flies that troubled me most were a large kind of blue-bottle or blow-fly.

    The Malay Archipelago Alfred Russell Wallace
  • One wonders what he would have made of a blow-fly buzzing on the pane.

    The Last Harvest John Burroughs
  • But there was no answer; only the cobwebs moved there, though I thought I heard a faint buzzing, which might have been a blow-fly.

    Old Junk H. M. Tomlinson
  • I'm a worm, a maggot, brother to the pollywog an' child of the blow-fly.

    Smoke Bellew Jack London
  • It has already been seen how the “instinct” of the blow-fly to lay its egg on meat is interpretable as a chemotropic response.

    Being Well-Born Michael F. Guyer
  • A blow-fly buzzed, a fan of whity steam came out of the kettle, and the lid kept up a rattling jig as the water bubbled.

    Bliss, and Other Stories Katherine Mansfield
  • But over all the blue-bottles' old-fashioned systems the Maori blow-fly soars supreme.

    Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2) William Delisle Hay
  • Six P.M., a little extract smeared on the head of a blow-fly.

    Poisons: Their Effects and Detection Alexander Wynter Blyth
Word Origin and History for blow-fly

1720, from fly (n.) + blow (v.1) in an obsolete sense "to deposit eggs, to infect with eggs," in reference to to insects, "apparently connected with old notions of natural history" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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