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

Definition of hornet

: any of the larger vespid wasps (as of the genus Vespa) — compare yellow jacket

Examples of hornet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And, the bear will be as pissed off as agitated hornet’s nest. Richard Mann, Field & Stream, "The 10 Best Black Bear Cartridges," 17 Sep. 2019 With a few cranks of the handle, the whole rod vibrates, the tip shakes, and then the hornets are back with that sweet sound of ripping drag—zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Michael R. Shea, Outdoor Life, "Kayak Fishing Saved Lance Clinton’s Life," 11 Feb. 2020 One-on-one, a western honeybee is no match for a European hornet. National Geographic, "Photos from inside a tree reveal intimate lives of wild honeybees," 8 Feb. 2020 Officials in British Columbia discovered an Asian giant hornet colony there in August and destroyed it. oregonlive, "Huge, invasive bee-killing hornet turns up in Washington state," 21 Dec. 2019 The researchers watched birds, hornets, beetles, and even armadillos devour them. Matt Simon, Wired, "The Macabre Science of Animal Mass Die-Offs," 21 Jan. 2020 Most wasps and hornets are generally uninterested in you and not particularly aggressive unless disturbed, and all of them will die come a hard frost or two in the fall; only the queen overwinters to start a brand new nest in the spring. Jean Nick, Good Housekeeping, "How to Wasp-Proof Your Backyard This Summer," 26 July 2018 The health department said humans should take preventative measures by covering food and garbage and also avoid swatting at the hornets. USA TODAY, "$4 million dome home, owl surprise Christmas guest, cold sea turtles, red snapper: News from around our 50 states," 23 Dec. 2019 The department said the hornets are usually dormant in the winter months and are most common from July through October. oregonlive, "Huge, invasive bee-killing hornet turns up in Washington state," 21 Dec. 2019

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.

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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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Time Traveler for hornet

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for hornet

Last Updated

2 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hornet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hornet. Accessed 29 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for hornet


How to pronounce hornet (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hornet

: a flying insect that has a powerful sting


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

Kids Definition of hornet

: a large wasp that can give a severe sting

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More from Merriam-Webster on hornet

Spanish Central: Translation of 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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