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horse fly

any bloodsucking, usually large fly of the family Tabanidae, especially of the genus Tabanus, a serious pest of horses, cattle, etc.
Origin of horse fly
1350-1400; Middle English horsfleeye Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for horse-fly
Historical Examples
  • No, its not a snake; it is a most perfect specimen of a horse-fly.

  • And here is a picture of the lancet or knife of a horse-fly.

    Natural History Anonymous
  • Finding that she did not yet comprehend him, he exclaimed: "Why, girl, did you never see a horse-fly?"

    Scotch Wit and Humor W. H. (Walter Henry) Howe
  • The blue-bottle one could hear and avoid; but the attack of the horse-fly was stealthy.

    Through Arctic Lapland Cutcliffe Hyne
  • They knew there was a species of horse-fly in the Himalayas—greatly dreaded by all animals, and even by man himself.

    Bruin Mayne Reid
  • First he turned himself into a horse-fly, and hid himself in Dapplegrim's left nostril.

  • But as Brok blew the bellows, and his brother gazed into the glowing fire, the horse-fly came again.

    The Story of Siegfried James Baldwin
  • It is as large as a horse-fly, and when it bites a victim it usually draws blood.

  • Cuvier laboring to distinguish a horse-fly from a blue-bottle, or dissecting a spider with a rusty nail?

  • A horse-fly was teasing the shuddering back of his horse, and he deftly flicked at it with his whip till he had knocked it away.

    The Cottage of Delight Will N. Harben

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