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Gnat (?), n. [AS. gnæt.] 1. (Zo&ö;l.) A blood-sucking dipterous fly, of the genus Culex, undergoing a metamorphosis in water. The females have a proboscis armed with needlelike organs for penetrating the skin of animals. These are wanting in the males. In America they are generally called mosquitoes. See Mosquito.
2. Any fly resembling a Culex in form or habits; esp., in America, a small biting fly of the genus Simulium and allies, as the buffalo gnat, the black fly, etc.
Gnat catcher (Zo&ö;l.), one of several species of small American singing birds, of the genus Polioptila, allied to the kinglets. -- Gnat flower, the bee flower. -- Gnat hawk (Zo&ö;l.), the European goatsucker; -- called also gnat owl. -- Gnat snapper (Zo&ö;l.), a bird that catches gnats. -- Gnat strainer, a person ostentatiously punctilious about trifles. Cf. Matt. xxiii. 24.