• synonyms

velvet ant

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  1. any of several fuzzy, often brightly colored wasps of the family Mutillidae, the wingless, antlike female of which inflicts a severe sting.

Origin of velvet ant

An Americanism dating back to 1740–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for velvet ant

velvet ant

  1. a solitary digger wasp of the family Mutillidae

Word Origin

C19: so named from the wingless female
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