army ant


: any of a subfamily (Dorylinae) of aggressive nomadic tropical ants that prey on insects and spiders

Examples of army ant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ultimately, the researchers say that the species is the second oldest army ant species to be identified, and the first (and only) to be identified in Europe, which was much warmer and wetter 35 million years ago. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 29 Nov. 2022 The outcome is a fascinating visualization of army ant nests and a unique insight into the behaviour behind such complex self-assembly. The Physics Arxiv Blog, Discover Magazine, 22 Oct. 2021 Further analysis of its morphological and phylogenetic features revealed that the insect likely lived underground and was a close ancestor of a type of modern army ant from Africa and Asia, known as the Dorylus. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 29 Nov. 2022 To ride their bucking steeds, the beetles rely on a pair of specialized pincers perfect for grasping an army ant's waist. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 10 Feb. 2017 Or army ants that span gaps on the forest floor by linking their own bodies into bridges. Quanta Magazine, 6 July 2017 The fact that army ants don’t always build the distance-minimizing bridge suggests there’s some other factor in their unconscious calculation. Quanta Magazine, 26 Feb. 2018 But once in close range, the target is easy to spot: Huge swaths of army ants in search of food for their voracious young sometimes cover the length and almost half the width of a football field. Quanta Magazine, 9 Apr. 2014 An individual army ant is practically blind and has a minuscule brain that couldn’t begin to fathom their elaborate collective movement. Quanta Magazine, 26 Feb. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'army ant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1863, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of army ant was in 1863

Dictionary Entries Near army ant

Cite this Entry

“Army ant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

army ant

: any of various ants that live in groups, move from place to place in search of food, are found from Mexico to South America, and feed especially on insects and spiders

More from Merriam-Webster on army ant

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!