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[fawr-mi-ker-ee] /ˈfɔr mɪˌkɛr i/
noun, plural formicaries.
an ant nest.
Origin of formicary
1810-20; < Medieval Latin formīcārium ant hill, noun use of neuter of *formīcārius of, pertaining to ants. See formic, -arium Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for formicary
Historical Examples
  • Sir John Lubbock chloroformed some Lasius niger belonging to his formicary.

    The Dawn of Reason James Weir
  • Ants may be readily kept in the schoolroom in an artificial nest or formicary and their life-history and habits closely watched.

  • Another feature evident in disturbing a formicary is the general harmony in which the individuals of any one colony work together.

    In the Open Stanton Davis Kirkham
  • At one formicary half a dozen or more young queens were out at the same time.

    Animal Intelligence George J. Romanes
  • Many also enter the formicary, and begin to carry off the young brood that are left in it.

British Dictionary definitions for formicary


noun (pl) -caries, -caria (-ˈkɛərɪə)
less common names for ant hill
Word Origin
C19: from Medieval Latin formīcārium see formic
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for formicary

"ant nest," 1816, from Medieval Latin formicarium, from Latin formica "ant" (see Formica (n.2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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