[ ant ]
/ ænt /
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any of numerous black, red, brown, or yellow social insects of the family Formicidae, of worldwide distribution especially 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.
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Question 1 of 7
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Idioms about ant
have ants in one's pants, Slang. to be impatient or eager to act or speak.
Origin of ant
OTHER WORDS FROM antantlike, adjective
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH antant , aunt
Other definitions for ant (2 of 6)
[ ant, ahnt, eynt ]
/ ænt, ɑnt, eɪnt /
Chiefly British Dialect. contraction of am not.
Other definitions for ant (3 of 6)
variant of anti- before a vowel or h:antacid; anthelmintic.
Other definitions for ant (4 of 6)
a suffix forming adjectives and nouns from verbs, occurring originally in French and Latin loanwords (pleasant; constant; 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), especially in the formation of nouns denoting human agents in legal actions or other formal procedures (tenant; defendant; applicant; contestant). In technical and commercial coinages, -ant is a suffix of nouns denoting impersonal physical agents (propellant; lubricant; deodorant). In general, -ant can be added only to bases of Latin origin, with a very few exceptions, as coolant.
See also -ent.
Origin of -ant
<Latin -ant-, present participle stem of verbs in -āre; in many words <French -ant<Latin -ant- or -ent- (see -ent); akin to Middle English, Old English -and-, -end-, present participle suffix
Other definitions for ant (5 of 6)
Other definitions for ant (6 of 6)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use ant in a sentence
I do-an't like the look of things, nor I do-an't like the way things are done.Martin Hyde, The Duke's Messenger|John Masefield
British Dictionary definitions for ant (1 of 4)
/ (ænt) /
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 matingSee also army ant, fire ant, slave ant, wood ant Related adjective: formic
white ant another name for a termite
have ants in one's pants slang to be restless or impatient
Word Origin for ant
Old English ǣmette; related to Old High German āmeiza, Old Norse meita; see emmet
British Dictionary definitions for ant (2 of 4)
contraction of mainly British
British Dictionary definitions for ant (3 of 4)
a variant of anti- antacid
British Dictionary definitions for ant (4 of 4)
suffix forming adjectives, suffix forming nouns
causing or performing an action or existing in a certain condition; the agent that performs an actionpleasant; claimant; deodorant; protestant; servant
Word Origin for -ant
from Latin -ant-, ending of present participles of the first conjugation
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