ant lion

or antlion

  1. any of several insects belonging to the family Myrmeleontidae, of the order Neuroptera, the larvae of which dig a pit in sand where they lie in wait to prey upon ants or other insects that lose their footing.

Origin of ant lion

First recorded in 1805–15

Words Nearby ant lion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ant lion in a sentence

  • Some are very long, as those of most Lepidoptera; others very short, as that of the ant-lion (Myrmeleon).

  • These are the jaws of the ant-lion, lying in wait to gobble up the first passer-by.

    Little Busybodies | Jeanette Augustus Marks and Julia Moody
  • In this room it lies quietly, sometimes all winter, until it changes into a grown-up ant-lion with four long, narrow wings.

    Little Busybodies | Jeanette Augustus Marks and Julia Moody
  • The ant-lion, of course, was the larval form of a lace-wing fly.

    The Forgotten Planet | Murray Leinster
  • But it is rather uncharitable even to the ant-lion, to say so much as this.

British Dictionary definitions for antlion


/ (ˈæntˌlaɪən) /

  1. Also called: antlion fly any of various neuropterous insects of the family Myrmeleontidae, which typically resemble dragonflies and are most common in tropical regions

  2. Also called (US): doodlebug the larva of this insect, which has very large jaws and buries itself in the sand to await its prey

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