Definition of midge in US English:

midge

noun

  • 1A small two-winged fly that is often seen in swarms near water or marshy areas where it breeds.

    The families Chironomidae (the nonbiting midges), and Ceratopogonidae (see biting midge): numerous species

    • ‘Rations include a variety of insect larvae, especially mayflies, blackflies, caddis flies, and midges.’
    • ‘Popularity is not always a good thing, especially when you seem to be a siren for this country's 18 different species of mosquitoes and midges.’
    • ‘Included among the invertebrates are moth flies, wood gnats, midges, punkies, mosquitoes, marsh beetles, and beelike or wasplike syrphid flies.’
    • ‘A new era of chromosome research began with the detection of giant chromosomes in tissues of Dipteran insects, the midges Bibio and Chironomus, and the fruit fly Drosophila.’
    • ‘In the 19th century, USDA researchers discovered that mosquitoes, ticks, flies, and midges spread disease from animal to animal.’
    • ‘The other night, trying to read an improving book in the bath, the room began filling with mosquitoes, midges and a small brown winged bug I didn't hang about to identify.’
    • ‘Alasdair McCrone, the artistic director, said the 35-year-old theatre, which has just 43 seats, is located in a wooded area and every summer is plagued by swarms of midges.’
    • ‘Only an attack by a voracious swarm of midges then spoilt a leisurely paddle under a warm, summer sun on a perfect, windless day.’
    • ‘Bites from midges, mosquitoes and mites are normally very itchy.’
    • ‘Oakworth Cricket Club is itching to keep spectators happy - by beating off swarms of midges.’
    • ‘Bloodworms are the larvae of a non-biting mosquito called a midge and are usually harmless to humans.’
    • ‘Probably the most common method of transmission is by means of biting insects such as mosquitoes, midges, and flies.’
    • ‘But as well as spending most of the night hunting for midges and mosquitoes, the nocturnal animals are always searching for new daytime hangouts.’
    • ‘The portable machine was devised by Calor Gas and midge expert Dr Alison Blackwell and can clear midges from an area half the size of a football field using carbon dioxide.’
    • ‘Arctic as well as temperate chironomid midges build special winter cocoons that are distinct from those made in summer.’
    • ‘Most people would probably mistake them for small flies, such as gnats or midges.’
    • ‘The hormone is mixed with yeast - which mosquitoes love - to make granules easily added to the pools where midges breed.’
    • ‘It is, of course, the midges and the clegs who present the major problem to the Scottish naturist.’
    • ‘Despite balmy temperatures, you'll need to pack pants, long-sleeved shirts, and, yes, even socks, to fend off the hordes of biting sand fleas and midges on the Tuichi River.’
    • ‘Dedicated fundraisers are set to take on everything from swarms of midges to blisters when they set off on a 100-mile walk.’
    1. 1.1with modifier Any of a number of small flies whose larvae can be pests of plants, typically producing galls or damaging leaves.
      • ‘Global warming will result in an explosion of the dreaded west coast midge, delegates to a conference in Glasgow will be told this month.’
      • ‘The trio have been cycling around 80 miles per day and they have camped overnight along the way, battling torrential rain, thunderstorms and the infamous swarms of Scottish midges.’
      insect, flea, mite
      View synonyms
  • 2informal A small person.

Origin

Old English mycg(e), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch mug and German Mücke, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin musca and Greek muia ‘fly’.

Pronunciation

midge

/mɪdʒ//mij/