[ ant ]
See synonyms for ant on
  1. 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.

Idioms about ant

  1. have ants in one's pants, Slang. to be impatient or eager to act or speak.

Origin of ant

before 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

Other words from ant

  • antlike, adjective

Words that may be confused with ant

Words Nearby ant

Other definitions for an't (2 of 6)

[ ant, ahnt, eynt ]

  1. Chiefly British Dialect. contraction of am not.

  2. Dialect. ain't.

Origin of an't

First recorded in 1700–10; see origin at ain't; aren't

Other definitions for ant- (3 of 6)


  1. variant of anti- before a vowel or h:antacid; anthelmintic.

Other definitions for -ant (4 of 6)


  1. 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.

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)


  1. antenna

  2. antonym.

Other definitions for Ant. (6 of 6)


  1. Antarctica. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use ant in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ant (1 of 4)


/ (ænt) /

  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: See also army ant, fire ant, slave ant, wood ant Related adjective: formic

  2. white ant another name for a termite

  1. have ants in one's pants slang to be restless or impatient

Origin of ant

Old English ǣmette; related to Old High German āmeiza, Old Norse meita; see emmet

British Dictionary definitions for an't (2 of 4)


contraction ofmainly British
  1. (ɑːnt) a rare variant spelling of aren't

  2. (eɪnt) dialect a variant spelling of ain't

British Dictionary definitions for ant- (3 of 4)


  1. a variant of anti- antacid

British Dictionary definitions for -ant (4 of 4)


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

Origin of -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