Definition of termite in English:

termite

Line breaks: ter|mite
Pronunciation: /ˈtəːmʌɪt
 
/

noun

  • A small, pale soft-bodied insect that lives in large colonies with several different castes, typically within a mound of cemented earth. Many kinds feed on wood and can be highly destructive to trees and timber. Also called white ant.
    • Order Isoptera: several families
    More example sentences
    • Dwarf mongooses mainly feed on insects like termites, locusts, beetles, grubs, larvae and spiders.
    • This is applicable especially, but not exclusively, to so-called social insects such as bees, wasps, ants and termites.
    • Some termites feed on the wood timber of houses, posing a danger as a roof or ceiling can collapse from the impact of their feeding.

Origin

late 18th century: from late Latin termes, termit- 'woodworm', alteration of Latin tarmes, perhaps by association with terere 'to rub'.

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