Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of numerous hymenopteran 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) A state of restless impatience.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An emmet; a hymenopterous insect of the family Formicidœ and the Linnean genus Formica, now divided into several genera.
  • noun A corruption of -an, of various origin, as in pageant, peasant, pheasant, truant, tyrant. See these words.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A former spelling of aunt.
  • An old form of and.
  • noun 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) A hymenopterous insect of the Linnæan genus Formica, which is now made a family of several genera; an emmet; a pismire.
  • noun (Zoöl.) one of a very extensive group of South American birds (Formicariidæ), which live on ants. The family includes many species, some of which are called ant shrikes, ant thrushes, and ant wrens.
  • noun (Bot.) a species of grass (Aristida oligantha) cultivated by the agricultural ants of Texas for the sake of its seed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English amte, from Old English ǣmete.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

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