\ 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 Chapulines, a type of grasshopper, and chiquitanas — a species of leaf-cutter ant — are two such items. Amy Drew Thompson,, 29 Aug. 2021 The ant’s mandibles gaped open and prepared to seize the beetle. Quanta Magazine, 16 Aug. 2021 Aphaenogaster araneoides, the ant, got its name from Terry McGlynn, a professor at California State University Dominguez Hills, in 2000. Neelam Bohra And Radhika Marya, CNN, 12 July 2021 To study the unique bodily transformation that the Indian jumping ant’s pseudo-queens undergo, the researchers painted a group of 60 pseudo-queens from 30 colonies with different colors to tell them apart. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Apr. 2021 Chlorpyrifos will still be permitted for nonfood uses such as on golf courses, turf, utility poles and fence posts as well as in cockroach bait and ant treatments. Coral Davenport, New York Times, 18 Aug. 2021 It is built on land that is home to an abundance of wild ant nests, where escamoles are foraged. Robyn Huang, Condé Nast Traveler, 19 July 2021 The use of pink for the ant is part of my longtime interest in the color as a beautifying agent that, when applied, offers joy and visual gratification. Washington Post, 22 July 2021 Some involved human characters, but there was also a love story between two horses, as well as an ant with a dying daughter. New York Times, 11 June 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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Dictionary Entries Near ant

answer to (something)



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Last Updated

5 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 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


noun suffix

English Language Learners Definition of -ant (Entry 5 of 3)

: a person or thing that does a specified thing


adjective suffix

English Language Learners Definition of -ant (Entry 6 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-


noun suffix
\ 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


adjective suffix

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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