- any small social insect of the widely distributed hymenopterous family Formicidae, typically living in highly organized colonies of winged males, wingless sterile females (workers), and fertile females (queens), which are winged until after matingRelated adjective(s): formic
- white ant ⇒
another name for a termite
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
- Insectsa small insect that lives in highly organized colonies.
- Idiomshave ants in one's pants, Slang. to be impatient or eager to act.
apply (+ ic) + -ant → applicant (= one who formally applies, as for a job).
- Insectsany of numerous black, red, brown, or yellow social insects of the family Formicidae, of worldwide distribution esp. in warm climates, having a large head with inner jaws for chewing and outer jaws for carrying and digging, and living in highly organized colonies containing wingless female workers, a winged queen, and, during breeding seasons, winged males, some species being noted for engaging in warfare, slavemaking, or the cultivation of food sources.
- have ants in one's pants, [Slang.]to be impatient or eager to act or speak.
- bef. 1000; Middle English am(e)te, em(e)te, Old English ǣmette; cognate with Middle Low German āmete, ēm(e)te, Middle Dutch amete, Old High German āmeiza (ā- a-3 + meizan to beat, cut, cognate with Albanian mih (he) digs), German Ameise. See emmet, mite1
an't (ant, änt, ānt),USA pronunciation
- 1700–10; see ain't; aren't
servant) and productive in English on this model;
-ant has the general sense "characterized by or serving in the capacity of '' that named by the stem (ascendant;
pretendant), esp. in the formation of nouns denoting human agents in legal actions or other formal procedures (tenant;
contestant). In technical and commercial coinages, -ant is a suffix of nouns denoting impersonal physical agents (propellant;
deodorant). In general, -ant can be added only to bases of Latin origin, with a very few exceptions, as coolant. See also -ent.
- Latin -ant- or -ent- (see -ent); akin to Middle English, Old English -and-, -end-, present participle suffix
- French -ant
- Latin -ant-, present participle stem of verbs in -āre; in many words
- Radio and Televisionantenna
- causing or performing an action or existing in a certain condition; the agent that performs an action: pleasant, claimant, deodorant, protestant, servant