wasp

2 ENTRIES FOUND:

wasp

noun \ˈwäsp, ˈwsp\

: a black-and-yellow flying insect that can sting

Full Definition of WASP

1
:  any of numerous social or solitary winged hymenopterous insects (especially families Sphecidae and Vespidae) that usually have a slender smooth body with the abdomen attached by a narrow stalk, well-developed wings, biting mouthparts, and in the females and workers an often formidable sting, and that are largely carnivorous and often provision their nests with insects or spiders killed or paralyzed by stinging for their larvae to feed on — compare bee
2
:  any of various hymenopterous insects (as a chalcid or ichneumon wasp) other than wasps with larvae that are parasitic on other arthropods
wasp·like \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Illustration of WASP

Origin of WASP

Middle English waspe, from Old English wæps, wæsp; akin to Old High German wafsa wasp, Latin vespa wasp
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Insect Terms

drone, entomology, gadfly, pismire, proboscis, vespine

WASP

noun, often attributive \ˈwäsp, ˈwsp\

: an American whose family originally came from northern Europe and especially Britain and who is considered to be part of the most powerful group in society

Full Definition of WASP

sometimes disparaging
:  an American of Northern European and especially British ancestry and of Protestant background; especially :  a member of the dominant and the most privileged class of people in the United States
Wasp·dom \-dəm\ noun, sometimes disparaging
Wasp·ish \ˈwäs-pish, ˈws-\ adjective, sometimes disparaging
Wasp·ish·ness noun, sometimes disparaging
Waspy \-pē\ adjective, sometimes disparaging

Variants of WASP

WASP or Wasp \ˈwäsp, ˈwsp\

Examples of WASP

  1. Most of the members of the club are wealthy WASPs.
  2. The college had been known as a bastion of WASP privilege.

Origin of WASP

white Anglo-Saxon Protestant
First Known Use: 1957

wasp

noun \ˈwäsp, ˈwsp\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of WASP

: any of numerous social or solitary winged insects (especially families Sphecidae and Vespidae) of the order Hymenoptera that usually have a slender smooth body with the abdomen attached by a narrow stalk, well-developed wings, biting mouthparts, and in the females and workers an often formidable sting

Illustration of WASP

wasp

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of more than 20,000, usually winged, insect species in the order Hymenoptera. The abdomen is attached to the thorax by a slender petiole, or “waist,” and the female's abdomen has a formidable stinger. Most species are solitary; about 1,000 species are highly social; and some may be either social or solitary. Adults feed primarily on nectar. Most solitary wasps nest in tunnels in the ground and feed larvae with paralyzed insects or spiders. The paperlike nest of social wasps (family Vespidae) consists of chewed plant material mixed with saliva and arranged in adjacent hexagonal cells. The female lays one egg in each cell and provisions it with a macerated caterpillar. Successive generations may enlarge the nest and care for the young.

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: wasp ant
Previous Word in the Dictionary: wasn't
All Words Near: wasp

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up wasp? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).