dragon fly

dragonfly

[drag-uhn-flahy]
noun, plural dragonflies.
1.
any of numerous stout-bodied, nonstinging insects of the order Odonata (suborder Anisoptera), the species of which prey on mosquitoes and other insects and are distinguished from the damselflies by having the wings outstretched rather than folded when at rest.
2.
(initial capital letter) Military. a two-seat, twin-turbojet U.S. attack aircraft in service since 1967, armed with a Minigun and capable of carrying nearly 5700 pounds (2585 kg) of ordnance.

Origin:
1620–30; dragon + fly2


1. the dragonfly is also called a darning needle and a devil's darning needle in the Northern and Western U.S. In the Northern U.S. it is also called a sewing needle. In the Midland U.S. it is called a snake feeder, in the South Midland and Southern U.S. a snake doctor, and in the Southern U.S., especially in the Southern Coastal areas, it is called a mosquito hawk or a skeeter hawk. Spindle is also in use, chiefly in New Jersey and in the Delaware Valley. Ear sewer is in older use in some scattered regional areas.
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World English Dictionary
dragonfly (ˈdræɡənˌflaɪ)
 
n , pl -flies
1.  See also damselfly any predatory insect of the suborder Anisoptera, having a large head and eyes, a long slender body, two pairs of iridescent wings that are outspread at rest, and aquatic larvae: order Odonata
2.  any other insect of the order Odonata

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

dragonfly
1620s, from dragon + fly (n.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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