[ wosp ]
/ wɒsp /


any of numerous social or solitary hymenopterous insects of the Vespidae, Sphecidae, and allied families, generally having a long, slender body and narrow waist and, in the female, a stinger.
a person who is snappish or petulant.

Origin of wasp

before 900; Middle English waspe, Old English wæsp, metathetic variant of wæps, itself variant of wæfs, akin to Dutch wesp, German Wespe, Latin vespa


wasp·like, adjective

Definition for wasp (2 of 3)

[ wosp ]
/ wɒsp /


a member of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots, an organization disbanded in 1944.

Definition for wasp (3 of 3)


or Wasp

[ wosp ]
/ wɒsp /
Sometimes Disparaging and Offensive.


a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant.
a member of the privileged, established white upper middle class in the U.S.


Origin of WASP

First recorded in 1955–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wasp

  • The oiling is by means of two pumps, the system being practically identical with that of the 'Wasp II.'

    A History of Aeronautics|E. Charles Vivian
  • Presently I lifted my head and looked cautiously toward the wasp's-nest.

    Wild Animals at Home|Ernest Thompson Seton
  • Charles Darwin, in fact, informed me afterwards that his grandfather wrote 'a Wasp' in his "Zoonomia."

    The Mason-bees|J. Henri Fabre

British Dictionary definitions for wasp (1 of 2)

/ (wɒsp) /


any social hymenopterous insect of the family Vespidae, esp Vespula vulgaris (common wasp), typically having a black-and-yellow body and an ovipositor specialized for stingingSee also potter wasp, hornet Related adjective: vespine
any of various solitary hymenopterans, such as the digger wasp and gall wasp

Derived forms of wasp

wasplike, adjectivewaspy, adjectivewaspily, adverbwaspiness, noun

Word Origin for wasp

Old English wæsp; related to Old Saxon waspa, Old High German wefsa, Latin vespa

British Dictionary definitions for wasp (2 of 2)



/ (wɒsp) /

n acronym for (in the US)

White Anglo-Saxon Protestant: a person descended from N European, usually Protestant stock, forming a group often considered the most dominant, privileged, and influential in American society

Derived forms of Wasp

Waspy, adjective
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

Cultural definitions for wasp


An acronym for “white Anglo-Saxon Protestant” — a member of what many consider to be the most privileged and influential group in American society.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.