From Middle English mydge, migge, from Old English mygg, mycg (“midge, gnat”), from Proto-Germanic *mugjō, *muwō (“midge”), from Proto-Indo-European *mū- (“fly, midge”), *mu-, *mew-. Cognate with Scots mige (“midge”), Saterland Frisian Määge (“gnat, mosquito”), West Frisian mich (“fly, mosquito”), Dutch mug (“midge, gnat, mosquito”), German Low German Mügge (“midge, gnat, mosquito”), German Mücke (“midge, gnat, mosquito”), Swedish mygg, mygga (“midge, gnat, mosquito”), Icelandic mý (“midge, gnat, fly”). The Proto-Indo-European root was also the source of Latin musca, Ancient Greek μυῖα (muîa), Russian му́ха (múxa), Latvian muša, Czech muchnička, Albanian mizë, Armenian մուն (mun).
midge (plural midges)
- Any of various small two-winged flies, for example, from the family Chironomidae or non-biting midges, the family Chaoboridae or phantom midges, and the family Ceratopogonidae or biting midges, all belonging to the order Diptera.
2012 January 1, Douglas Larson, “Runaway Devils Lake”, in American Scientist, volume 100, number 1, page 46:
- Devils Lake is where I began my career as a limnologist in 1964, studying the lake’s neotenic salamanders and chironomids, or midge flies. […] The Devils Lake Basin is an endorheic, or closed, basin covering about 9,800 square kilometers in northeastern North Dakota.
- (fishing) Any bait or lure designed to resemble a midge.