\ ˈant How to pronounce ant (audio) \

Definition of ant

 (Entry 1 of 6)

: any of a family (Formicidae) of colonial hymenopterous insects with a complex social organization and various castes performing special duties
ants in one's pants
: impatience for action or activity : restlessness

Definition of ant (Entry 2 of 6)

1 antenna
2 antonym

Definition of Ant (Entry 3 of 6)




Definition of ant- (Entry 4 of 6)

— see anti-

Definition of -ant (Entry 5 of 6)

1a : one that performs (a specified action) : personal or impersonal agent claimant coolant
b : thing that promotes (a specified action or process) expectorant
2 : one connected with annuitant
3 : thing acted upon (in a specified manner) inhalant

Definition of -ant (Entry 6 of 6)

1 : performing (a specified action) or being (in a specified condition) somnambulant
2 : promoting (a specified action or process) expectorant

Examples of ant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The piece of amber shows the exact moment a hell ant (haidomyrmecine) embraces its victim, a now-extinct relative of the cockroach (Caputoraptor elegans). Li Cohen, CBS News, "Scientists discover amber tomb that shows a prehistoric "hell ant" killing its prey with bizarre jaws that look like the Grim Reaper's scythe," 6 Aug. 2020 Covid-19 swept through Britain, and Stroeymeyt was shut out of her ant epidemiology lab. Michael Schulson, Wired, "What Can Ants and Bees Teach Us About Containing Disease?," 1 Aug. 2020 In it, the ant works prudently all summer and is prepared when winter hits, while the grasshopper lives it up during times of warmth and abundance only to suffer when things freeze up. Nat Kendall-taylor, STAT, "Why were we so late responding to Covid-19? Blame it on our culture and brains," 6 July 2020 But much of the country’s gold is extracted arduously, in ant-like quantities, by destitute armies of low-tech prospectors. Paul Salopek, National Geographic, "Hunting for particles of gold in the jungles of Southeast Asia," 24 June 2020 Blankets can keep you toasty on cold nights or clean and relatively ant-free on picnics. Washington Post, "Two girls warm hearts with their handmade blankets," 29 June 2020 For dads who find fan-less auto racing in the time of coronavirus about as thrilling as watching a vintage ant farm, New York Times best-selling author Neal Bascomb has a cure. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "Gift guide: Father’s Day gear for your favorite auto enthusiast," 19 June 2020 Find an anthill or ant hole and shove a stick in it. Bill Heavey, Field & Stream, "9 Bugs to Eat in a Survival Situation (And 4 You Want to Avoid)," 4 June 2020 The point of the experiment was to test whether or not ants used internal pedometers to help navigate back to their nests. Popsci Staff, Popular Science, "You can totally sprain your teeth (and you’ve probably done it before)," 29 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ant


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ant


Middle English ante, emete, from Old English æmette; akin to Old High German āmeiza ant

Noun suffix

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from -ant, present participle suffix, from Latin -ant-, -ans, present participle suffix of first conjugation, from -a- (stem vowel of first conjugation) + -nt-, -ns, present participle suffix; akin to Old English -nde, present participle suffix, Greek -nt-, -n, participle suffix

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Time Traveler for ant

Time Traveler

The first known use of ant was before the 12th century

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Statistics for ant

Last Updated

11 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for ant


How to pronounce -ant (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ant

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a kind of small insect that lives in an organized social group

English Language Learners Definition of -ant (Entry 2 of 3)

: a person or thing that does a specified thing

English Language Learners Definition of -ant (Entry 3 of 3)

: doing a specified thing or behaving in a specified way


\ ˈant How to pronounce ant (audio) \

Kids Definition of ant

: a small insect related to the bees and wasps that lives in colonies and forms nests in the ground or in wood in which it stores food and raises its young

Kids Definition of ant.



Kids Definition of ant-

see anti-

\ ənt \

Kids Definition of -ant

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 : one that does or causes a certain thing deodorant
2 : thing that is acted upon in a certain way

Kids Definition of -ant (Entry 2 of 5)

1 : doing a certain thing or being a certain way observant
2 : causing a certain action

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More from Merriam-Webster on ant

Spanish Central: Translation of ant

Nglish: Translation of ant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ant for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ant

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