Definition of firefly in English:



  • A soft-bodied beetle related to the glow-worm, the winged male and flightless female of which both have luminescent organs. The light is chiefly produced in flashes and typically functions as a signal between the sexes.

    Family Lampyridae: many species, especially in the tropics, and including the European Luciola lusitanica

    • ‘We were guided as we went by millions of fireflies whose flashing marked the banks like landing lights on an airstrip.’
    • ‘The light from the firefly is an example of phosphorescence.’
    • ‘Triggered by dusk's fading daylight, male fireflies lift off into the air and begin their courtship.’
    • ‘Later lab experiments showed that by flashing an artificial light at a firefly you could speed up its rhythm, you could slow it down, make it flash a little later than it would otherwise.’
    • ‘The firefly's light is only visible for an instant.’