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gnash teeth
Gnat catcher
Gnat flower
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gnat owl
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Gnat strainer
Gnathic index

Gnat definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

GNAT, n. nat. A small insect, or rather a genus of insects, the Culex, whose long cylindric body is composed of eight rings. They have six legs and their mouth is formed by a flexible sheath, inclosing bristles pointed like stings. The sting is a tube containing five or six spicula of exquisite fineness, dentated or edged. The most troublesome of this genus is the musketoe.
1. Any thing proverbially small.
Ye blind guides, who strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Matthew 23.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: any of various small biting flies: midges; biting midges; black flies; sand flies
2: (British usage) mosquito

Merriam Webster's

noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English gnætt; akin to Old English gnagan to gnaw Date: before 12th century any of various small usually biting dipteran flies • gnatty adjective

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. 1 any small two-winged biting fly of the genus Culex, esp. C. pipiens. 2 an insignificant annoyance. 3 a tiny thing. Etymology: OE gnætt

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Gnat Gnat, n. [AS. gn[ae]t.] 1. (Zo["o]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["o]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["o]l.), the European goatsucker; -- called also gnat owl. Gnat snapper (Zo["o]l.), a bird that catches gnats. Gnat strainer, a person ostentatiously punctilious about trifles. Cf. --Matt. xxiii. 24.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(gnats) A gnat is a very small flying insect that bites people and usually lives near water. N-COUNT

Easton's Bible Dictionary

only in Matt. 23:24, a small two-winged stinging fly of the genus Culex, which includes mosquitoes. Our Lord alludes here to the gnat in a proverbial expression probably in common use, "who strain out the gnat;" the words in the Authorized Version, "strain at a gnat," being a mere typographical error, which has been corrected in the Revised Version. The custom of filtering wine for this purpose was common among the Jews. It was founded on Lev. 11:23. It is supposed that the "lice," Ex. 8:16 (marg. R.V., "sand-flies"), were a species of gnat.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

nat (in English Versions of the Bible, only in Mt 23:24, konops. In Ex 8:16, for English Versions of the Bible "lice," one of the plagues of Egypt, kinnim, kinniym, or kinnam, we find in the Revised Version, margin "sand flies" or "fleas" (Gesenius "gnat"; Mandelkern "culex"). For kemo ken (Isa 51:6), English Versions of the Bible "in like manner," Septuagint hosper tauta, Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) sicut haec, the Revised Version, margin has "like gnats" since ken, elsewhere "thus," may here be taken to be a singular of the form kinnim, which occurs in Ex 8): In the New Testament passage, the difference between the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) should be noted. "Strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel" is changed to "strain out the gnat and swallow the camel," the reference being to the inconsistency of the Jewish religious leaders in taking extraordinary pains in some things, as in the preparation of food, while leaving weightier matters unattended to.

In Isa 51:6, the suggestion of the Revised Version, margin, "They that dwell therein shall die like gnats," seems a decided improvement on the "shall die in like manner" of English Versions of the Bible, especially as ken, "thus" (see supra), is a repetition of kemo, whose meaning is practically the same, "in like manner" being the rendering in English Versions of the Bible of kemo ken.

As to the creatures, kinnim, of the Egyptian plague, there is little choice between "lice" of English Versions of the Bible and the others suggested, except as we may be influenced by the Septuagint rendering, skniphes, which may mean "gnats" or "mosquitoes."


Alfred Ely Day

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. Culex.

Moby Thesaurus

crumb, dot, drop, droplet, fleck, flyspeck, grain, iota, jot, microbe, microorganism, midge, minim, minutia, minutiae, mite, mote, particle, pinhead, pinpoint, point, scrap, snip, snippet, speck, tittle, vanishing point


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