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- 1a social winged insect which has a narrow waist and a sting and is typically yellow with black stripes. It constructs a paper nest from wood pulp and raises the larvae on a diet of insects.
- Family Vespidae, superfamily Vespoidea, order Hymenoptera: several genera, in particular Vespula and Polistes
Old English wæfs, wæps, wæsp, of West Germanic origin, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin vespa; perhaps related to weave1 (from the web-like form of its nest)