• WordNet 3.6
    • n firefly nocturnal beetle common in warm regions having luminescent abdominal organs
    • n firefly tropical American click beetle having bright luminous spots
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The lifespan of a firefly is about seven days. During these days, they are busy trying to find a mate
    • n Firefly (Zoöl) Any luminous winged insect, esp. luminous beetles of the family Lampyridæ.☞ The common American species belong to the genera Photinusespecially Photinus pyralis) and Photuris, in which both sexes are winged. The name is also applied to luminous species of Elateridæ. See Fire beetle.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Certain fireflies emit a light so penetrating that it can pass through flesh and wood.
    • n firefly An insect which has the faculty of becoming luminous; a lampyrid or elaterid beetle which emits phosphorescent light from organs in some part of the body. One of the commonest American species is a lampyrid, Photinus pyralis, vulgarly called lightning-bug. Its larva lives in the ground, feeding on earthworms and soft-bodied insects, and transforms to the pupa in an oval earthen cell in June, issuing as a beetle ten days later. In the genus Photuris the larva is luminous. The larger tropical fireflies belong to the elaterid genus Pyrophorus, and are known as cucujids. One of the most brilliant is P. noctilucus of South America and the West Indies, emitting such luminosity from two eye-like fenestræ on the thorax that small print may be read by this light. The insects are sometimes used to afford light for domestic purposes, several of them confined together emitting light enough to enable a person to write. The glow-worm is, however, a lampyrid. The lantern-fly is a homopterous insect of a different order.
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In literature:

The only moving things were the khaki-clad sentinel and the blazing fireflies.
"The Pathless Trail" by Arthur O. (Arthur Olney) Friel
She had a little black mare she used to ride, Firefly, she called her.
"Mrs. Tree" by Laura E. Richards
And fireflies indeed they were.
"In the Heart of a Fool" by William Allen White
Fireflies winked in the gloom.
"Chicken Little Jane on the Big John" by Lily Munsell Ritchie
There was a garden, lighted by the fireflies at night, and Penini mistook the place for Eden.
"The Brownings" by Lilian Whiting
An enemy airman, should he pass over, would see a long line of twinkling fireflies.
"Aces Up" by Covington Clarke
Even in that moment of terrible dismay, Brian noted their muskets, and how the lighted matches flared like fireflies in the wind.
"Nuala O'Malley" by H. Bedford-Jones
Numerous species of ants and bees exist as well as fireflies.
"Porto Rico" by Arthur D. Hall
The sunshine rebounded from the top of their wings, and against the discoloured earth they looked like fireflies.
"Cavalry of the Clouds" by Alan Bott
They sparkle, these northern fireflies of ours, with a dainty glint that merely emphasizes the darkness.
"Old Plymouth Trails" by Winthrop Packard

In poetry:

Last night a man was at her gate;
In the hedge I lay in wait;
I saw Mercedes meet him there,
By the fireflies in her hair.
"Mercedes" by Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard
Then side by side with some magician dream,
To take the owlet-haunted lane,
Half-roofed with vines; led by a firefly gleam,
That brings me home again.
"The Wood" by Madison Julius Cawein
Adown the dark the firefly marks
Its flight in gold and emerald sparks;
And, loosened from his chain,
The shaggy mastiff bounds and barks,
And barks again.
"Evening On The Farm" by Madison Julius Cawein
Fireflies in dark flight flash. Waking
Waterbirds begin calling, one to another.
All things caught between shield and sword,
All grief empty, the clear night passes.
"Restless Night" by Du Fu
The fireflies o'er the meadow
In pulses come and go;
The elm-trees' heavy shadow
Weighs on the grass below;
And faintly from the distance
The dreaming cock doth crow.
"Midnight" by James Russell Lowell
Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font;
The firefly wakens, waken thou with me.
"Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal" by Alfred Lord Tennyson

In news:

Arrow' Adds Another Batman Villain: Who's Ready for Firefly .
Firefly ' the Animated Series In the Works.
Considering we still mark years with four digits, more rumors of a ' Firefly ' reunion have begun to spill out, though not as we've previously heard them.
'The Office,' ' Firefly ' and more news.
Former Gibson GM Jon Harris Will Helm New Firefly Bar.
Bartender Jon Harris brings his playful cocktails to Firefly , which reopens at the end of this month.
Gilbert sister trio Firefly hopes to raise $30,000 by July 12 to fund album.
Firefly Bags $500K from Massachusetts Life Science Center for miRNA Biomarker Platform.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park has announced a new reservation system for the Elkmont Firefly Viewing event beginning in 2012.
Radial Engineering's New Firefly Direct Input Box.
Firefly 's Wines Face ChurchKey's Beers in Charity Food Pairing Smackdown.
Bringing TV Shows Back to Life, From ' Firefly ' to 'Pushing Daisies'.
Fireflies are often toxic to bats, which see the nighttime flashing and steer clear of the insects, according to a new study.
Is It ' Firefly ' All Over Again.
Firefly Energy Inc has announced that the first pre-production versions of its BCI Group 31 truck battery to be marketed under the new name Oasis will be available for review and testing during the first quarter of 2008.