Definition of muscae volitantes in English:

muscae volitantes

plural noun

  • Dark specks appearing to float before the eyes, generally caused by particles in the vitreous humor of the eye.

    ‘This embryonic artery atrophies by the 8 1/2 month but a few persistent remnants are evident entoptically as muscae volitantes (an appearance as of moving spots before the eyes).’
    • ‘Scheerer's phenomenon should not be confused with ‘floaters’ or muscae volitantes.’
    • ‘The medical name for floaters is muscae volitantes.’
    • ‘The first case was a 60-year-old male who complained of seeing ‘flying flies’ (muscae volitantes myodesopsia, muscae volitantes myiodesopsia) in a mesh-like pattern in his left eye.’
    • ‘Eye floaters, Latin-derived muscae volitantes (meaning ‘flying flies’), or French-derived mouches volantes are little ‘cobwebs’ or specks that float about in your field of vision.’


muscae volitantes

/ˌməskē väləˈtantēz/ /ˌməski vɑləˈtæntiz/


Early 18th century modern Latin, literally ‘flying flies’.