American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various large stinging wasps of the family Vespidae, chiefly of the genera Vespa and Vespula, that characteristically build large papery nests.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An insect of the wasp family, of the genus Vespa, much larger and stronger than wasps of other species, and capable of inflicting a more severe and painful sting. Hornets congregate in a cellular nest formed of a substance resembling coarse paper, elaborated from leaves and particles of wood. The nest is sometimes pendent, and sometimes placed in a hollow tree. The European hornet, V. crabro, and the American hornet, or yellow-jacket, V. maculata, are similar in character and habit. The name is often used for any large or formidable wasp, especially one whose sting is exceptionally painful.
- n. Figuratively, a person who annoys by frequent and persistent petty attacks.
- n. A large wasp, of the genus Vespa, with a brown and yellow striped body and capable of inflicting a serious sting.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) A large, strong wasp. The European species (Vespa crabro) is of a dark brown and yellow color. It is very pugnacious, and its sting is very severe. Its nest is constructed of a paperlike material, and the layers of comb are hung together by columns. The American white-faced hornet (Vespa maculata) is larger and has similar habits.
- n. large stinging paper wasp
- Middle English hernet, from Old English hyrnetu, hyrnete, from Proto-Germanic *hurznutō (compare German Hornisse), alteration of Proto-Germanic *hurzulōn (compare Dutch horzel), from Proto-Indo-European *k̑érh₂sr- (compare Welsh creyryn 'wasp', Latin crābrō 'hornet', Tocharian kronše 'bee', Lithuanian širšė 'wasp', Old Church Slavonic сръшень (srŭšenĭ) 'hornet', Albanian grerë, grenzë 'wasp, hornet'). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English hornet, alteration (probably influenced by horn, horn) of hernet, from Old English hyrnet. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The American general in charge of NATO today declared the coalition forces in Afghanistan, have stirred up what he called a hornet's nest.”
“One of our choppers brought me the other day what he called a hornet's nest; it was certainly too small and delicate a piece of workmanship for so large an insect; and I rather conjecture that it belonged to the beautiful black and gold insect called the wasp-fly, but of this I am not certain.”
“I have not had any experiences like the ones above but one thing that makes me madder than a hornet is when I am fishing down a row of docks and another boat cuts right in front of you and starts fishing the dock right in front of you.”
“The 2007 hornet is designed and built in Italy as well, and although it definitely can not reach the absolute powerhouse the streetfighter is, it has more style then a handfull of streetfighters combined. (and ABS!)”
“A hornet is 3 times the size and 20 times the weight of a bee.”
“The hornet was the first paper-maker, and holds the original patent.”
“The yellow wasp or hornet, that is around in autumn, is of but little account; their object is honey, which they take when they can get it, but are not apt to enter the hive among the bees.”
“Don Teague reported Falcon Lake and the surrounding area has been called a hornet's nest of criminal activity for the Zeta drug cartel, a powerful and fierce Mexican gang that's not shy about letting its presence be known.”
“S. O'BRIEN: The president could be headed into a kind of hornet's nest.”
“I think we've stirred up a bloomin' hornet's nest and we'd best leg it out of here. ”
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Looking for tweets for hornet.