Definition of dragonfly in US English:



  • A fast-flying long-bodied predatory insect with two pairs of large transparent wings which are spread out sideways at rest. The voracious aquatic larvae take up to five years to reach adulthood.

    Suborder Anisoptera, order Odonata: several families. Dragonflies include darners and skimmers

    Compare with damselfly
    • ‘Watch a kite sweep the skies for large insects such as grasshoppers, cicadas and dragonflies.’
    • ‘While both dragonflies and damselflies belong to the Odonata and share many common features, then are a number of noticeable differences as well.’
    • ‘Female species of dragonflies and damselflies will allow males to mate with them only when they see that he has a suitable egg-laying territory.’
    • ‘To get the details, a field team has been fitting green darner dragonflies with radio transmitters.’
    • ‘For example he informs us that the Blue-cheeked bee-eater actually eats more dragonflies and damselflies than anything else.’
    • ‘I remember the dragonflies, damselflies and other insects, their colours iridescent in the bright sun.’
    • ‘Encourage natural predators such as dragonflies or praying mantises.’
    • ‘Learn about dragonflies and damselflies as part of Bromley's Wetland Campaign.’
    • ‘A pond is a little world in itself, he says, home to a dizzying array of creatures from frogs and newts to water boatmen, diving beetles, dragonflies and damselflies.’
    • ‘If George Barris, king of custom hot rods, designed insects, he would've come up with dragonflies and damselflies.’
    • ‘The wings were held horizontally, as in dragonflies (Odonata, Anisoptera).’
    • ‘However, for this little creature there are so many things to be learnt: is it a dragonfly or a damselfly?’
    • ‘The Odonata, the order to which damselflies and dragonflies belong, play a very important ecological and economic role for human beings.’
    • ‘In addition, the park is buzzing with insect life and is regionally important for the high numbers of dragonflies and damselflies.’
    • ‘How can some dragonflies and caddis flies live in salt lakes but not in the sea?’
    • ‘Then, the dragonflies and damselflies will move in.’
    • ‘Thrushes, ladybirds, dragonflies, spiders and hoverfly larvae will snack on aphids, snails and other pests, saving you time, work and money.’
    • ‘Apart from their intrinsic and aesthetic value, dragonflies and damselflies are now recognised as indicators of riverine integrity.’
    • ‘A woodchat's prey is mainly insects, beetles, damsel flies, dragonflies, grasshoppers, wasps and bees.’
    • ‘Hunts birds and large insects, especially dragonflies (eats insects on the wing).’