yellow jacket



any of several paper wasps of the family Vespidae, having black and bright yellow bands.
Slang. a yellow capsule of phenobarbital.

Origin of yellow jacket

An Americanism dating back to 1790–1800 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for yellow jacket

Historical Examples of yellow jacket

  • Thereafter I dived and hopped like a frog through the brush and water, until I came out beyond that yellow-jacket barrage.

    Everyday Adventures

    Samuel Scoville

  • A young half-breed with a complexion like a yellow-jacket asked me if I would have my boots blacked.

    Roughing It

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • Now once in a while a babe is found hard to wean; the same may be said of a yellow-jacket.

    On a Donkey's Hurricane Deck

    R. Pitcher Woodward

  • And there are still others, where Buddy collided with the yellow-jacket, that I find I cannot read at all.

    Tenting To-night

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • The Professor was powerless, but lay in Tim's arms biting, kicking, and curled up like a yellow-jacket interested with an enemy.

British Dictionary definitions for yellow jacket

yellow jacket


US and Canadian any of several social wasps of the genus Vespa, having yellow markings on the body
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