ant

[ ant ]
/ ænt /

noun

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 for ant

    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

ant·like, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH ant

ant aunt
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for antlike

  • In one of the cases, opposite me, there's one of the Martian creatures—a big, antlike fellow.

    The Secret of the Ninth Planet|Donald Allen Wollheim
  • He felt that it would be like an attack, although a futile and antlike one, at creation itself.

    The Debtor|Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • The little safari for the third time crawled its antlike way across the immensities of the veldt.

    The Leopard Woman|Stewart Edward White
  • Antlike, men were swarming everywhere bent upon changing, and yet they changed nothing.

British Dictionary definitions for antlike (1 of 2)

antlike
/ (ˈæntˌlaɪk) /

adjective

of or like an ant or ants
characterized by scurrying activity or teeming restlessness

British Dictionary definitions for antlike (2 of 2)

ant
/ (ænt) /

noun

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
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