acu·​le·​ate | \ ə-ˈkyü-lē-ət How to pronounce aculeate (audio) \

Definition of aculeate

: relating to or being hymenopterans (such as bees, ants, and many wasps) of a division (Aculeata) typically having the ovipositor modified into a stinger

Examples of aculeate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Published in Biological Reviews, the journal of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, the study is the most comprehensive meta-analysis of aculeate wasps to date, drawing on more than 500 scientific papers. Jen Rose Smith, CNN, 7 May 2021

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

First Known Use of aculeate

1826, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aculeate

after New Latin Aculeata, division of the insect order Hymenoptera, going back to Latin, neuter plural of aculeātus "having stingers or spines, stinging," from aculeus "stinger, spine (of a fish), sharp point, barb" (from acū-, stem of acus "needle" + -leus, noun suffix, perhaps originally diminutive) + -ātus -ate entry 3

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Time Traveler for aculeate

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The first known use of aculeate was in 1826

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Last Updated

16 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aculeate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for aculeate


acu·​le·​ate | \ ə-ˈkyü-lē-ət How to pronounce aculeate (audio) \

Medical Definition of aculeate

: having a sting aculeate insects


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