\ 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 The Empire of Ants adopts a similarly playful tone throughout, cycling through factoids about the more than 16,000 ant species on Earth with evident glee. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "Women Resistance Fighters of WWII, the Secret Lives of Ants and Other New Books to Read," 1 Apr. 2021 Other scientists have discovered that procreation also extends the life spans of queens of other ant species, honey bee queens, and termite queens and kings. Yao-hua Law, Science | AAAS, "What can ants, bees, and other social insects teach us about aging?," 25 Mar. 2021 The land so teems with life that a PhD student who spent just five months in the Ecuadorian Chocó discovered 284 new ant species. Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Wild World of a New Nature Preserve in Ecuador," 18 Mar. 2021 To envision how an ant might see its world, the Norwegian photographer Tine Poppe places her camera in the dirt of a meadow, lens pointing up. Sabrina Imbler, The Atlantic, "Looking Up," 13 Mar. 2021 An inventor ant teams up with other insects to keep a gang of grasshoppers from terrorizing his colony. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘Gandhi’; ‘Forrest Gump’ and more," 26 Feb. 2021 But the emails from Brian Fisher, an ant specialist at the California Academy of Sciences, in San Francisco, kept coming. Aryn Baker, Time, "They're Healthy. They're Sustainable. So Why Don't Humans Eat More Bugs?," 26 Feb. 2021 The game simulates the wood pile, the setting in which Thoreau lived freely—an afternoon of log-splitting becomes one of ant-watching—but no capacity for spontaneous action, for your own free life within that setting. Sarah Ruth Bates, Wired, "The Game Walden Shows Us That Some Things Can’t Be Digitized," 5 Mar. 2021 In 1975, the Nature Lab at Rhode Island School of Design bought it for use as a functioning ant farm. New York Times, "Roni Horn Shares a Timely Record of Solitude," 19 Feb. 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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Statistics for ant

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 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

English Language Learners Definition of -ant (Entry 2 of 3)

: a person or thing that does a specified thing

English Language Learners Definition of -ant (Entry 3 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-

\ 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

Kids Definition of -ant (Entry 2 of 5)

1 : doing a certain thing or being a certain way observant
2 : causing a certain action

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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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