WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
ant /ænt/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. Insectsa small insect that lives in highly organized colonies.
  1. Idiomshave ants in one's pants, Slang. to be impatient or eager to act.

-ant, suffix. 
  • -ant is attached to some verbs to form adjectives with the meaning "doing or performing (the action of the verb)'': please + -ant → pleasant (= doing the pleasing).
  • -ant is also attached to some verbs to form nouns with the meaning "one who does or performs (the action of the verb, often a formal action)'': serve + -ant → servant (= one who serves);
    apply (
    + ic) + -ant → applicant (= one who formally applies, as for a job).
  • -ant is attached to some verbs to form nouns with the meaning: "substance that does or performs (the action of the verb)'': cool (verb = "to make cool'') + -ant → coolant (= substance to keep engines cool).
  • See -ent.
    WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
    ant  (ant),USA pronunciation n. 
    1. 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.
    2. have ants in one's pants, [Slang.]to be impatient or eager to act or speak.
    antlike′, adj. 
    • 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 
  • British Terms[Chiefly Brit. Dial.]contraction of am not.
  • Slang Terms[Dial.]ain't.
    • 1700–10; see ain't; aren't

  • var. of  anti- before a vowel or h: antacid;

  • -ant, 
  • a suffix forming adjectives and nouns from verbs, occurring originally in French and Latin loanwords (pleasant;
    ) 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;
    ), esp. in the formation of nouns denoting human agents in legal actions or other formal procedures (tenant;
    ). In technical and commercial coinages,  -ant is a suffix of nouns denoting impersonal physical agents (propellant;
    ). 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

    1. Radio and Televisionantenna
    2. antonym.

  • Place NamesAntarctica.

  • Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    ant /ænt/ n
    1. 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 mating
      Related adjective(s): formic
    2. white ant
      another name for a termite
    Etymology: Old English ǣmette; related to Old High German āmeiza, Old Norse meita; see emmet

    -ant suffix forming adjectives , suffix forming nouns
    1. causing or performing an action or existing in a certain condition; the agent that performs an action: pleasant, claimant, deodorant, protestant, servant
    Etymology: from Latin -ant-, ending of present participles of the first conjugation

    'ant' also found in these entries:

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