or bum·ble bee

[buhm-buh l-bee]


any of several large, hairy social bees of the family Apidae.

Origin of bumblebee

First recorded in 1520–30; bumble2 + bee1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for bumblebee




any large hairy social bee of the genus Bombus and related genera, of temperate regions: family Apidae

Word Origin for bumblebee

C16: from bumble ² + bee 1
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

Word Origin and History for bumblebee

also bumble-bee, 1520s, replacing Middle English humbul-be (altered by association with Middle English bombeln "to boom, buzz," late 14c.); echoic, from PIE echoic root *kem "to hum."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper