European hornet

noun

plural European hornets
: a chiefly brown and yellow hornet (Vespa crabro) that is native to Europe but has become widely established in North America and that builds a papery nest especially in the cavities of trees
European hornets are unique in that they fly and forage at night and are attracted to lights. Many of our close encounters happen at night, and you might hear them bouncing off lights or windows after hours.Annette Cormany
The adult hornet worker is about an inch in length with yellow and brown coloration. The overwintering queens are larger and are about one-and-one-half inches in length. European hornet colonies often contain 300 or more workers by September or October.Trish Rudder

called also giant hornet

Word History

First Known Use

1866, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of European hornet was in 1866

Dictionary Entries Near European hornet

Cite this Entry

“European hornet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/European%20hornet. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

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