plural noun
Ves·​pi·​dae | \ -pəˌdē \

Definition of Vespidae

: a widely distributed family of wasps (superfamily Vespoidea) containing the social wasps that live in colonies like bees, produce workers as well as perfect females and males, feed on various animal or vegetable matter but usually do not store up supplies since their colonies are destroyed by the cold season, and build nests which generally consist of or contain one or more combs of papery material that is usually horizontally placed so that the cells are vertical and with the open end down — compare polistes, vespa, vespula; hornet, yellow jacket

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History and Etymology for Vespidae

New Latin, from Vespa, type genus + -idae

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Cite this Entry

“Vespidae.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

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