There are 2 main definitions of wasp in English:

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wasp1

Syllabification: wasp
Pronunciation: /wäsp
 
/

noun

1A social winged insect that has a narrow waist and a sting. 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
Example sentences
  • Another hazard that sometimes faced the picker was disturbing a nest of wasps or some other stinging creatures.
  • Bites from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and fire ants are typically the most troublesome.
  • It didn't kill the wasps, the nest was made of paper so it absorbed the shock and just split open.
2A solitary winged insect with a narrow waist, mostly distantly related to the social wasps and including many parasitic kinds.
Example sentences
  • In the garden dill attracts beneficial insects, including bees, parasitic wasps and tachinid flies.
  • There is also a parasitic wasp that attacks them but they are not effective enough to prevent the damage.
  • Tussock moth larvae that are not killed by parasitic wasps and predators turn into brightly marked caterpillars.

Origin

Old English wæfs, wæps, wæsp, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin vespa; perhaps related to weave1 (from the weblike form of its nest).

More
  • Our distant linguistic ancestors had a word wasp which can be traced back to an ancient root that also produced the Latin word for ‘wasp’, vespa. The ultimate origin may be a word that meant ‘to weave’, the connection being the way that wasps chew up wood into a papery substance that they use to construct their nests. The Latin word vespa was carried forward into Italian and used as the name for the Vespa, the little motor scooter beloved by Italians, named for its hyperactive buzzing.

Derivatives

wasplike

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • The 45-year-old politician was immediately struck by the 18-year-old: ‘That brunette with the wasp-like waist.’
  • She's slimmer, with a more sharply defined jaw and nose, lips of an entirely different shape, big wide eyes, a wasp-like waist and, most astonishing of all, the slender legs of a teenage girl.
  • They are small, black and wasp-like in appearance.

Words that rhyme with wasp

woodwaspcusp

Definition of wasp in:

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There are 2 main definitions of wasp in English:

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Wasp2

Syllabification: Wasp
Pronunciation: /wäsp
 
/
(also WASP)

noun

North American
An upper- or middle-class American white Protestant, considered to be a member of the most powerful group in society.
Example sentences
  • But the criticism of WASPs as a group, says Brookhiser, is only a symptom of a deeper ill.
  • Old-guard Wasps appear to feel threatened by the newly rich and their growing influence around the city, and dismiss new money as ‘tasteless and gauche.’

Origin

1950s: acronym from white Anglo-Saxon Protestant.

Derivatives

Waspish

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • But that's ignoring the host of other immigrant entertainers who also altered their names to a more Waspish form; I think this kind of stuff deserves a programme of its own.
  • Both he and Woods, who played in the same 1995 Walker Cup side, are blazing a trail for ethnic minorities on the US Tour, which is still dominated by golfers of a Waspish background.
  • A talented young artist, he returns with a portfolio of animal sketches - and a sudden enthusiasm for Waspish, heartland values.

Waspy

2
adjective
Example sentences
  • It's furnished with a predictable cast of competently drawn near-stereotypes - Waspy, hard-drinking real-estate brokers, an overbearing Jewish mom, wealthy friends to whom everything seems to come easy.
  • I saw her, and she had this great hair and this Waspy blue blazer.
  • Klute opens with a Waspy dinner table scene in which we see a standard happy family and friends (one of whom will turn out to be the film's killer).

Definition of wasp in:

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