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Ant definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

AN'T, in old authors, is a contraction of an it, that is if it. [See An.]
ANT, in our vulgar dialect, as in the phrases, I ant, you ant, he ant, we ant, etc., is undoubtedly a contraction of the Danish er, ere, the substantive verb in the present tense of the Indicative Mode. These phrases are doubtless legitimate remains of the Gothic dialect.
'ANT, n.
An emmet; a pismire. Ants constitute a genus of insects of the hymenopteral order, of which the characteristics are; a small scale between the breast and belly, with a joint so deep that the animal appears as if almost cut in two. The females, and the neuter or working ants, which have no sexual characteristics, are furnished with a hidden sting; and both males and females have wings, but the neuters have none. These insects meet together in companies, and maintain a sort of republic. They raise hillocks of earth, in which they live. In these there are paths, leading to the repositories of their provisions. The large black ants, in the warm climates of America, to avoid the effects of great rains, build large nests on trees, of light earth, roundish and plastered smooth.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

n
1: social insect living in organized colonies; characteristically the males and fertile queen have wings during breeding season; wingless sterile females are the workers [syn: ant, emmet, pismire]

Merriam Webster's

abbreviation Antarctica

Merriam Webster's

I. noun Etymology: Middle English ante, emete, from Old English śmette; akin to Old High German ?meiza ant Date: before 12th century any of a family (Formicidae) of colonial hymenopterous insects with a complex social organization and various castes performing special duties II. abbreviation 1. antenna 2. antonym

Britannica Concise

Any member of approximately 8,000 species of the social insect family Formicidae. Ants are found worldwide but are especially common in hot climates. They range from 0.1 to 1 in. (2-25 mm) long and are usually yellow, brown, red, or black. Ants eat both plant and animal substances; some even "farm" fungi for food, cultivating them in their nests, or "milk" aphids. Ant colonies consist of three castes (queens, males, and workers, incl. soldiers) interacting in a highly complex society paralleling that of the honeybees. Well-known ant species are the carpenter ants of N. America, the voracious army ants of tropical America, and the stinging fire ant.

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. any small insect of a widely distributed hymenopterous family, living in complex social colonies, wingless (except for males in the mating season), and proverbial for industry. Phrases and idioms: ant-bear = AARDVARK. ant (or ant's) eggs pupae of ants. ant-lion any of various dragonfly-like insects. white ant = TERMITE. Etymology: OE æmet(t)e, emete (see EMMET) f. WG

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Ant Ant, n. [OE. ante, amete, emete, AS. [ae]mete akin to G. ameise. Cf. Emmet.] (Zo["o]l.) A hymenopterous insect of the Linn[ae]an genus Formica, which is now made a family of several genera; an emmet; a pismire. Note: Among ants, as among bees, there are neuter or working ants, besides the males and females; the former are without wings. Ants live together in swarms, usually raising hillocks of earth, variously chambered within, where they maintain a perfect system of order, store their provisions, and nurture their young. There are many species, with diverse habits, as agricultural ants, carpenter ants, honey ants, foraging ants, amazon ants, etc. The white ants or Termites belong to the Neuroptera. Ant bird (Zo["o]l.), one of a very extensive group of South American birds (Formicariid[ae]), which live on ants. The family includes many species, some of which are called ant shrikes, ant thrushes, and ant wrens. Ant rice (Bot.), a species of grass (Aristida oligantha) cultivated by the agricultural ants of Texas for the sake of its seed.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

An't An't A contraction for are and am not; also used for is not; -- now usually written ain't. [Colloq. & illiterate speech.]

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(ants) Ants are small crawling insects that live in large groups. N-COUNT

Easton's Bible Dictionary

(Heb. nemalah, from a word meaning to creep, cut off, destroy), referred to in Prov. 6:6; 30:25, as distinguished for its prudent habits. Many ants in Palestine feed on animal substances, but others draw their nourishment partly or exclusively from vegetables. To the latter class belongs the ant to which Solomon refers. This ant gathers the seeds in the season of ripening, and stores them for future use; a habit that has been observed in ants in Texas, India, and Italy.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

(nemalah = Arabic namalah): The word occurs only twice in the Bible, in the familiar passages in Pr 6:6; 30:25 in both of which this insect is made an example of the wisdom of providing in the summer for the wants of the winter. Not all ants store up seeds for winter use, but among the ants of Palestine there are several species that do so, and their well-marked paths are often seen about Palestinian threshing-floors and in other places where seeds are to be obtained. The path sometimes extends for a great distance from the nest.

Alfred Ely Day

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. Pismire, emmet.




 


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