\ 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 Rules such as a preference to handle a piece of food previously handled by another ant, or following the paths of other members of the colony, presumably by following chemical pheromones. Gabriel A. Silva, Forbes, "What The Human Brain And Ants Have In Common," 19 Apr. 2021 That brown flake that suddenly started moving on your counter is–yikes!—not a crumb, but a pesky ant that just alerted others to join its stead. Adrienne Jordan, House Beautiful, "How to Get Rid of Ants, Once and for All," 14 Apr. 2021 When the ant colony is located near the house or in the yard, there’s a higher chance of ants coming inside, even with insect repellent in place. Angela Watson,, "How to get rid of ants," 3 Apr. 2021 While the vast majority of people responding to Maxwell’s tweet seemed to find humor in his latest ant-Utah message, others said this particular one was perhaps tone-deaf. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Ex-NBA player Vernon Maxwell suggests people exchange hate of Asians for hate of hate of Utah," 22 Mar. 2021 The set of rules that an individual ant follows when moving around, foraging, and interacting with its environment are relatively simple and straight forward to understand. Gabriel A. Silva, Forbes, "What The Human Brain And Ants Have In Common," 19 Apr. 2021 Indian jumping ant colonies can have numerous queens. NBC News, "To become queen, these ants fight — then shrink their brains," 14 Apr. 2021 The Empire of Ants adopts a similarly playful tone throughout, cycling through factoids about the more than 16,000 ant species on Earth with evident glee. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "Women Resistance Fighters of WWII, the Secret Lives of Ants and Other New Books to Read," 1 Apr. 2021 Other scientists have discovered that procreation also extends the life spans of queens of other ant species, honey bee queens, and termite queens and kings. Yao-hua Law, Science | AAAS, "What can ants, bees, and other social insects teach us about aging?," 25 Mar. 2021

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

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for ant



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

More from Merriam-Webster on ant

Nglish: Translation of ant for Spanish Speakers

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

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