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Gadfly   Listen
Gadfly  n.  (pl. gadflies)  (Zool.) Any dipterous insect of the genus Oestrus, and allied genera of botflies. Note: The sheep gadfly (Oestrus ovis) deposits its young in the nostrils of sheep, and the larvae develop in the frontal sinuses. The common species which infests cattle (Hypoderma bovis) deposits its eggs upon or in the skin where the larvae or bots live and produce sores called wormels. The gadflies of the horse produce the intestinal parasites called bots. See Botfly, and Bots. The true horseflies are often erroneously called gadflies, and the true gadflies are sometimes incorrectly called breeze flies.
Gadfly petrel (Zool.), one of several small petrels of the genus Oestrelata.

Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48

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"Gadfly" Quotes from Famous Books

... Thomas Hardy, are the chief gods of a younger race, as hostile to "sentimentalism" as George Meredith, but without either the power—or the wish—to replace it by the forces of the poetic imagination. Mr. Shaw, whose dramatic work has been the goad, the gadfly of a whole generation, stirring it into thought by the help of a fascinating art, will not, I think, elect to stand upon his novels; though his whole work has deeply affected English novel-writing. But Mr. Wells and Mr. Arnold Bennett have been during the last ten or fifteen years—vitally ...
— A Writer's Recollections (In Two Volumes), Volume II • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... personal contempt. And she deserved both, having been a notorious woman in her younger days. We heard of her first from Brother Rheubottom. He was the shriveled, grizzled local preacher who furnished a kind of gadfly gospel to the church at Bowtown when he was invited to fill the pulpit, which was no oftener than could be helped. He called to tell William about the "Prout woman" before we had had time to ...
— A Circuit Rider's Wife • Corra Harris

... which his mind reacts at once is some form of vengeance, some way of getting even with his tormentor. The words that burn or rankle or corrode are not the words to stimulate. No doubt Socrates said that he was the gadfly of the State and stung that noble animal into action, but what may be good for a sluggish old coach-horse is not necessarily good for a thoroughbred colt with a ...
— The Adventure of Living • John St. Loe Strachey

... see Mousqueton without gold lace, imprisoned, perhaps; to see Pierrefonds, Bracieux, razed to the very stones, dishonored even to the timber,—these were so many poignant griefs for D'Artagnan, and every time that one of these griefs struck him, he bounded like a horse at the sting of a gadfly beneath the vaults of foliage where he has sought shady shelter from the burning sun. Never was the man of spirit subjected to ennui, if his body was exposed to fatigue; never did the man of healthy body fail to find life light, if he had something to engage ...
— The Man in the Iron Mask • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... Ruz," persisted the gadfly, lighting again. "Don Ramon's spring does not run now, and so we must come to the Tinaja Bonita, you see. Don Ramon removed the cattle yesterday. Everybody absent from home, except Lolita." Luis thought he could see his Don Ruz listening to that last piece of ...
— Red Men and White • Owen Wister

... and two days had elapsed since the judges, amid the loud acclaim of the Athenian people, had pronounced the death sentence against the philosopher Socrates because he had sought to destroy faith in the gods. What the gadfly is to the horse Socrates was to Athens. The gadfly stings the horse in order to prevent it from dozing off and to keep it moving briskly on its course. The philosopher said to the ...
— Best Russian Short Stories • Various

... Greek mythology a daughter of INACHOS (q. v.), beloved by Zeus, whom Hera out of jealousy changed into a heifer and set the hundred-eyed Argus to watch, but when Zeus had by Hermes slain the watcher, Hera sent a gadfly to goad over the world, over which she ranged distractedly till she reached Egypt, where Osiris married her, and was in connection with him ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... But I'll pick my men, please," remarked Sir John, with a pleasant smile. "Perry's got a conscience, and Kilshaw—well, Kilshaw's got a gadfly that does instead, and of course, Coxon, I add you ...
— Half a Hero - A Novel • Anthony Hope

... that does credit to the sagacity of the Government of India. Had the arrest been effected when the name of Ghandi was at its zenith, there would have been widespread trouble and bloodshed. As it was, people were only too glad to be rid of a gadfly that merely goaded ...
— Essays in Liberalism - Being the Lectures and Papers Which Were Delivered at the - Liberal Summer School at Oxford, 1922 • Various

Words linked to "Gadfly" :   horse fly, clegg, botfly, persecutor, tormenter, fly, sheep gadfly, nudnick, cleg, blighter

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