Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various social insects of the family Formicidae, characteristically having wings only in the males and fertile females and living in colonies that have a complex social organization.
  • idiom ants in (one's) pants Slang A state of restless impatience: "She's got ants in her pants” ( Bobbie Ann Mason).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various insects in the family Formicidae in the order Hymenoptera, typically living in large colonies composed almost entirely of flightless females
  • n. A Web spider
  • v. To rub insects, especially ants, on one's body, perhaps to control parasites or clean feathers.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A hymenopterous insect of the Linnæan genus Formica, which is now made a family of several genera; an emmet; a pismire.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • An old form of and.
  • n. An emmet; a hymenopterous insect of the family Formicidœ and the Linnean genus Formica, now divided into several genera.
  • n. A former spelling of aunt.
  • n. The form of anti- before vowels in words taken from or formed according to the Greek, as in antagonist. In words formed in English, anti- usually remains unchanged before a vowel, as in anti-episcopal, etc.
  • n. A suffix of adjectives, and of nouns originally adjectives, primarily (in the original Latin) a present participle suffix, cognate with the original form (AS. -ende) of English -ing, as in dominant, ruling, regnant, reigning, radiant, beaming, etc. See -ent.
  • n. A corruption of -an, of various origin, as in pageant, peasant, pheasant, truant, tyrant. See these words.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. social insect living in organized colonies; characteristically the males and fertile queen have wings during breeding season; wingless sterile females are the workers

Etymologies

Middle English amte, from Old English ǣmete.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English amte, amete, from Old English ǣmette ("ant"), from Proto-Germanic *ēmaitijō (“ant”, literally "biting-thing, cutter"), from Proto-Germanic *ē- (“off, away”) + *maitanan (“to cut”), from Proto-Indo-European *mai- (“to cut”). Cognate with German Ameise and Emse ("ant"). See also emmet. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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