Definition of hornet in English:

hornet

Line breaks: hor¦net
Pronunciation: /ˈhɔːnɪt
 
/

noun

A large, fairly docile wasp which is typically red and yellow or red and black and usually nests in hollow trees.
More example sentences
  • Bites from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and fire ants are typically the most troublesome.
  • The insects most likely to cause allergic reactions are wasps, honeybees, hornets, yellow jackets and ants.
  • South African paper wasps, or hornets as they are also called, are often encountered underneath overhangs such as the eaves of roofs but do not form very big groups.

Origin

Old English hyrnet, of Germanic origin; related to German Hornisse. The form of the word was probably influenced by Middle Dutch and Middle Low German hornte.

Phrases

a hornets' nest

A situation fraught with difficulties or complications: the move has stirred up a hornets' nest of academic fear and loathing
More example sentences
  • Discount broker TD Waterhouse has stirred up a hornets' nest with the announcement that it will introduce margin trading into the UK.
  • In doing so, he seems to have stirred up a hornets' nest.
  • The US has not only disturbed a hornets' nest; it keeps on poking it.

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