From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

oestrus \oes"trus\, n. [L., a gadfly; also, frenzy, fr. Gr. ?
   gadfly; hence, sting, fury, insane desire, frenzy.]
   1. (Zool.) A genus of gadflies. The species which deposits
      its larvae in the nasal cavities of sheep is {oestrus
      [1913 Webster]

   2. A vehement desire.
      [1913 Webster]

   3. Specifically: (Physiol.) The periodical sexual impulse of
      animals; the period during which female animals are most
      receptive to males; heat; rut.
      [1913 Webster +PJC]
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