acu·​le·​ate ə-ˈkyü-lē-ət How to pronounce aculeate (audio)
: 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aculeate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1826, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of aculeate was in 1826

Dictionary Entries Near aculeate

Cite this Entry

“Aculeate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


acu·​le·​ate ə-ˈkyü-lē-ət How to pronounce aculeate (audio)
: having a sting
aculeate insects
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