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giant hornet

See under hornet.


[hawr-nit] /ˈhɔr nɪt/
any large, stinging paper wasp of the family Vespidae, as Vespa crabro (giant hornet) introduced into the U.S. from Europe, or Vespula maculata (bald-faced hornet or white-faced hornet) of North America.
Origin of hornet
before 900; Middle English harnete, Old English hyrnet(u); cognate with Old High German hornaz (> German Horniss); akin to horn Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for giant hornet


any of various large social wasps of the family Vespidae, esp Vespa crabro of Europe, that can inflict a severe sting
hornet's nest, a strongly unfavourable reaction (often in the phrase stir up a hornet's nest)
Word Origin
Old English hyrnetu; related to Old Saxon hornut, Old High German hornuz
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 giant hornet



Old English hyrnet, hurnitu "large wasp, beetle," probably from Proto-Germanic *hurz-nut- (cf. Old Saxon hornut, Middle Dutch huersel, Dutch horzel, Old High German hornaz, German Hornisse "hornet"), from PIE imitative (buzzing) root *krs-, as preserved in Old Church Slavonic srusa, Lithuanian szirszu "wasp." On this theory, the English word (as well as German Hornisse) was altered by influence of horn, to suggest either "horner" (from the sting) or "horn-blower" (from the buzz). Cf. also Old Saxon hornobero "hornet," literally "trumpeter."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with giant hornet
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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