eusocial

adjective

eu·​so·​cial ˌyü-ˈsō-shəl How to pronounce eusocial (audio)
: living in a cooperative group in which usually one female and several males are reproductively active and the nonbreeding individuals care for the young or protect and provide for the group
eusocial termites, ants, and naked mole rats

Examples of eusocial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ants, whose colonies are composed mostly of sterile females that care for their mothers’ offspring, are eusocial; so are termites. Kristin Ohlson, Discover Magazine, 24 Oct. 2012 As eusocial insects, the world of the honey bee revolves around keeping the queen (larger bee in center of image) healthy and productive. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 4 Oct. 2018 Ants are eusocial, which means members of the colony pitch in to perform specific tasks. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 11 Feb. 2016 Bees and other eusocial insects, for instance, clearly show evidence of collective intelligence. Adam Frank, The Atlantic, 19 Feb. 2022 The inner workings of mole rats’ odd eusocial structure earns them a reputation for aggression. Max G. Levy, Wired, 24 May 2021 Leaning in particular on research into the captivating lives of eusocial insects like ants and bees, the researchers looked at six different ways that the presence of contagious disease can change social interactions. Ellie Shechet, Popular Science, 5 Mar. 2021 While the scores of social ant species all evolved from one common social ancestor, bees’ eusocial nature evolved multiple times independently. Quanta Magazine, 6 May 2014 Knowing When the Rules Apply Hamilton’s rule was never meant to apply to eusocial insect colonies alone. Jordana Cepelewicz, Scientific American, 26 Apr. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'eusocial.' 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

1966, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of eusocial was in 1966

Dictionary Entries Near eusocial

Cite this Entry

“Eusocial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eusocial. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on eusocial

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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