noun at·tine \ˈa-ˌtīn\

Definition of attine



  1. :  any of various myrmicine ants (tribe Attini) found chiefly in tropical America that culture fungi for food Leaf-cutters and all the other attines cultivate various kinds of fungi for colony members to eat. — Susan Milius, Science News, 21 Nov. 1998 Species of the lower attines do not cut and use leaves as the main substrate for their symbiotic fungus, but rather gather a large variety of dead vegetable matter, including bits of leaves, plant seeds, and fruits, as well as insect feces and corpses. — Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson, The Leafcutter Ants: Civilization by Instinct, 2011 The tribe Attini comprises ants of the genus Atta, known as leaf-cutting ants, and closely related genera.


adjective The leaf-cutters represent the most advanced division of a powerful insect tribe called the attine ants, 200 species that engage in a mutually convenient arrangement with fungi. — Natalie Angier, New York Times, 13 Dec. 1994

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Origin and Etymology of attine

borrowed from New Latin Attini, from Atta 2Atta + -ini -ini

First Known Use: 1922

Seen and Heard

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feeling or affected by lethargy

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