hor·​net | \ ˈhȯr-nət How to pronounce hornet (audio) \
plural hornets

Definition of hornet

: any of the larger vespid wasps (genus Vespa) that usually build large papery nests in shrubs and trees — see also asian giant hornet, asian hornet, european hornet — compare bald-faced hornet

Examples of hornet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Each trap was outfitted with a dummy female hornet to attract the males as well, Nieh said. Megan Marples, CNN, 15 Mar. 2022 The Asian giant hornet, the world's largest at 2 inches, can decimate entire hives of honeybees and deliver a painful sting to humans. USA TODAY, 1 Aug. 2020 Both sections hummed like a hornet’s nest as Wong plugged into the music’s rhythmic vigor while sustaining grace and ebullience. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, 15 Apr. 2022 Laura Kipnis likes to be a cage rattler, a fly in the ointment, a poker of hornet’s nests. Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, 14 Feb. 2022 The Asian giant hornet was reported by a Whatcom County resident on Wednesday. CBS News, 13 Aug. 2021 The station says it was found Thursday morning in a rural area outside the city of Blaine, which is due north of Seattle, about a quarter-mile from where a resident saw a live Asian giant hornet on August 11. CBS News, 20 Aug. 2021 The hornets were first detected in the United States in 2019 when a hornet was reported in Whatcom County. Nicholas K. Geranios, chicagotribune.com, 27 Aug. 2021 The hornets were first detected in the United States in 2019 when a hornet was reported in the same county where the recent nest was destroyed. Nicholas K. Geranios, USA TODAY, 27 Aug. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of hornet

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hornet

Middle English hernet, from Old English hyrnet; akin to Old High German hornaz hornet, Latin crabro

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The first known use of hornet was before the 12th century

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hornet's nest

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hornet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hornet. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for hornet


hor·​net | \ ˈhȯr-nət How to pronounce hornet (audio) \

Kids Definition of hornet

: a large wasp that can give a severe sting

More from Merriam-Webster on hornet

Nglish: Translation of hornet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hornet for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hornet


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