robber fly
Hornet Hor"net, n. [AS. hyrnet; akin to OHG. hornaz, hornuz, G. horniss; perh. akin to E. horn, and named from the sound it makes as if blowing the horn; but more prob. akin to D. horzel, Lith. szirszone, L. crabo.] (Zo["o]l.) A large, strong wasp. The European species ({Vespa crabro}) is of a dark brown and yellow color. It is very pugnacious, and its sting is very severe. Its nest is constructed of a paperlike material, and the layers of comb are hung together by columns. The American white-faced hornet ({Vespa maculata}) is larger and has similar habits. [1913 Webster]

{Hornet fly} (Zo["o]l.), any dipterous insect of the genus {Asilus}, and allied genera, of which there are numerous species. They are large and fierce flies which capture bees and other insects, often larger than themselves, and suck their blood. Called also {hawk fly}, {robber fly}.

{To stir up a hornet's nest}, to provoke the attack of a swarm of spiteful enemies or spirited critics. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Robber fly — Robber Rob ber, n. One who robs; in law, one who feloniously takes goods or money from the person of another by violence or by putting him in fear. [1913 Webster] Some roving robber calling to his fellows. Milton. [1913 Webster] Syn: Thief;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • robber fly — n. any of a large family (Asilidae) of hairy dipterous flies of varying size that prey on other insects …   English World dictionary

  • robber fly — any of numerous swift flying, often large, dipterous insects of the family Asilidae that are predaceous on other insects. [1870 75] * * * or assassin fly Any of about 4,000 species of predatory dipterans in the family Asilidae, found worldwide.… …   Universalium

  • robber fly — noun a large predatory fly which darts out and grabs insect prey on the wing. [Family Asilidae.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • robber fly — rob′ber fly n. ent any of numerous, often large, dipterous insects of the family Asilidae that are predaceous on other insects • Etymology: 1870–75 …   From formal English to slang

  • robber fly — noun swift predatory fly having a strong body like a bee with the proboscis hardened for sucking juices of other insects captured on the wing • Syn: ↑bee killer • Hypernyms: ↑dipterous insect, ↑two winged insects, ↑dipteran, ↑dipteron • Member… …   Useful english dictionary

  • robber fly — noun Date: 1871 any of a family (Asilidae) of predaceous dipteran flies including some resembling bumblebees …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • robber fly — /ˈrɒbə flaɪ/ (say robuh fluy) noun any of the swift, often large, flies constituting the family Asilidae, that prey on other insects …   Australian English dictionary

  • Manx robber fly — Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Insecta …   Wikipedia

  • Robber — Rob ber, n. One who robs; in law, one who feloniously takes goods or money from the person of another by violence or by putting him in fear. [1913 Webster] Some roving robber calling to his fellows. Milton. [1913 Webster] Syn: Thief; depredator;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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