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ant

Syllabification: ant

Definition of ant in English:

noun

A small insect, often with a sting, that usually lives in a complex social colony with one or more breeding queens. It is wingless except for fertile adults, which often form large mating swarms, and is proverbial for industriousness.
  • Family Formicidae, order Hymenoptera: several subfamilies
Example sentences
  • The next time either of those two ants meet any other ant, the information they pass on will be different.
  • To scientists, that's as bizarre a finding as a queen bee spawning a colony of ants.
  • He has red hair, shouts incessantly and moves as though a colony of ants has invaded his tracksuit trousers.
Synonyms

Origin

Old English ǣmete; related to German Ameise. Compare with emmet.

More
  • The dialect word emmet for an ant, used since the 1970s as a Cornish term for a tourist, is like ant, from Old English ǣmete. Antsy, dating from the mid 19th century, is probably from the phrase have ants in one's pants; it means ‘agitated’, ‘restless’.

Phrases

have ants in one's pants

1
informal Be fidgety or restless.
Example sentences
  • Maybe it's just God trying to tell me to keep still and stop acting like I have ants in my pants, to just be calm and happy that all is well.
  • He appeared to have ants in his pants, refusing to stand still for a minute.
  • I have so much energy that the little kids I baby-sit told me it looks like I have ants in my pants.

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Pronunciation: ˈemyələs
adjective
seeking to emulate or imitate someone or something