ant·​eat·​er | \ ˈant-ˌē-tər How to pronounce anteater (audio) \

Definition of anteater

: any of several mammals that feed largely or entirely on ants or termites: such as
a : any of a family (Myrmecophagidae) of New World edentates with a long narrow snout, a long tongue, and large salivary glands that includes the giant anteater and tamandua
b : pangolin
c : echidna
d : aardvark

Examples of anteater in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Since spring, the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory has tested nearly 80 animals, including 38 dogs, 29 cats, two ferrets, a camel and two tamanduas, a type of anteater. Jonel Aleccia, CNN, "Covid-19 tests given to cats, dogs, dolphins and more animal species by US scientists," 30 Oct. 2020 Sharp, slightly vinegary formic acid is the one-carbon volatile acid, a chemical weapon found in ants and other insects but turned against them by the anteater, which relies on it to help digest them. Harold Mcgee, WSJ, "What Does Outer Space Smell Like?," 24 Oct. 2020 The anteater is one-way, the orangutan is one way, the koala is one way. Steve Rubenstein,, "A city transformed: SF marks 6 months of surreal living," 17 Sep. 2020 The virus is believed to have originated in bats and then jumped to humans via an intermediary species, possibly the anteater-like pangolin that is prized in China for its scales used in Chinese medicine as well as its meat. Fox News, "Bats offer COVID-19 treatment clues, scientists say," 14 July 2020 Orban said, offering the example of anteaters using their 2-foot-long tongues to seek termites and other insects. Sarah Haselhorst,, "At the zoo, meerkats work for their dinner with the help of GE engineers and some titanium," 8 June 2020 Born in March: Houston Zoo welcomes baby anteater Peter was dehydrated and had low blood sugar, leading the staff to believe Njeri may have low milk production. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "Houston Zoo welcomes baby red-tailed monkey named 'Peter Rabbit'," 27 Apr. 2020 Genetic evidence hints—but does not prove—that the intermediary animal was a pangolin, an unusual type of burrowing mammalian anteater that is covered in scales and curls itself into a tight ball when under attack. Laurie Garrett, The New Republic, "How Trump and Xi set the stage for the coronavirus pandemic," 2 Apr. 2020 All eight species of the scaly, anteater-like mammals are threatened with extinction. National Geographic, "Wildlife wins: 7 good-news stories from 2019," 20 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anteater.' 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 anteater

1668, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of anteater was in 1668

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Cite this Entry

“Anteater.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for anteater



English Language Learners Definition of anteater

: an animal that has a very long nose and tongue and eats ants


ant·​eat·​er | \ ˈant-ˌē-tər How to pronounce anteater (audio) \

Kids Definition of anteater

: an animal that has a long nose and long sticky tongue and feeds chiefly on ants and termites

More from Merriam-Webster on anteater

Nglish: Translation of anteater for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about anteater

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