army ant

noun

Definition of 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 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, "The Simple Algorithm That Ants Use to Build Bridges," 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, "The Remarkable Self-Organization of Ants," 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, "The Simple Algorithm That Ants Use to Build Bridges," 26 Feb. 2018 Instead, this tiny beetle -- only 1.5 millimeters long -- lives alongside a species of nomadic army ant. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Meet the top 10 new species of 2018," 23 May 2018 It's named for Daniel Kronauer, a field biologist who studies army ants and discovered the species. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Meet the top 10 new species of 2018," 23 May 2018 Nymphister kronaueri Anterior view of Nymphister kronaueri attached to an Eciton mexicanum army ant worker Image credit: © D. Kronauer. Sarah Gray, Fortune, "A 62-Ton Tree and Great Ape Have Made the Top 10 New Species List," 23 May 2018 The recent study grew out of experiments conducted with army ants in the Panamanian jungle in 2014. Kevin Hartnett, Washington Post, "Leaderless, practically blind and with teeny brains, army ants perform amazing feats of logistics," 7 Apr. 2018 Evolution has seemingly equipped army ants with just the right algorithm for on-the-go bridge building. Kevin Hartnett, Washington Post, "Leaderless, practically blind and with teeny brains, army ants perform amazing feats of logistics," 7 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'army ant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of army ant

1863, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about army ant

Time Traveler for army ant

Time Traveler

The first known use of army ant was in 1863

See more words from the same year

Statistics for army ant

Last Updated

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Army ant.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/army%20ant. Accessed 13 December 2019.

More from Merriam-Webster on army ant

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about army ant

Comments on army ant

What made you want to look up army ant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

easily led, controlled, or managed

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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