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[muh-skee-toh] /məˈski toʊ/
noun, plural mosquitoes, mosquitos.
any of numerous dipterous insects of the family Culicidae, the females of which suck the blood of animals and humans, some species transmitting certain diseases, as malaria and yellow fever.
(initial capital letter) Military. a twin-engined, two-seat British fighter and bomber of World War II, made largely of plywood and having a top speed of 380 miles per hour (610 km/h).
1575-85; < Spanish, equivalent to mosc(a) fly (< Latin musca) + -ito diminutive suffix
Related forms
mosquitoey, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mosquitoes
  • Human interaction with mosquitoes must take into account the tremendous human suffering that these disease vectors cause.
  • It was not crowded elbow-to-elbow, the weather was wonderful and the mosquitoes all dead.
  • Global warming is supposedly going to improve living conditions for mosquitoes and other pests that spread infectious diseases.
  • There are relatively few flies or mosquitoes-a surprise, considering the hundreds of grazing and pecking animals.
  • People with more bacteria are more attractive to mosquitoes.
  • mosquitoes use the length of day to anticipate the oncoming winter and to plan hibernation.
  • Warming raises the biting and reproductive rates of mosquitoes and prolongs the breeding season.
  • Some diseases will spread, such as malaria carried by mosquitoes.
  • Outdoor concerts are held here every full moon night, except in the summer, when the mosquitoes can carry you away.
  • For example, bats mostly eat insects and agricultural pests, including disease-carrying mosquitoes.
British Dictionary definitions for mosquitoes


noun (pl) -toes, -tos
any dipterous insect of the family Culicidae: the females have a long proboscis adapted for piercing the skin of man and animals to suck their blood See also aedes, anopheles, culex
Word Origin
C16: from Spanish, diminutive of mosca fly, from Latin musca
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mosquitoes



1580s, from Spanish mosquito "little gnat," diminutive of mosca "fly," from Latin musca "fly," from PIE root *mu- "gnat, fly," imitative of insect buzzing (cf. Sanskrit maksa-, Greek myia, Old English mycg, Modern English midge, Old Church Slavonic mucha), perhaps imitative of the sound of humming insects.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mosquitoes in Medicine

mosquito mos·qui·to (mə-skē'tō)
n. pl. mos·qui·toes or mos·qui·tos
Any of various two-winged insects of the family Culicidae, in which the female of most species has a long proboscis for sucking blood. Some species are vectors of diseases such as malaria and yellow fever.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for mosquitoes


Related Terms

knee-high to a grasshopper

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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