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 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 Into this hornet’s nest stepped a man who had no direct experience with the Iron Bowl. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "‘We’ll play ’89 in Auburn’: How Pat Dye helped break Birmingham’s 40-year Iron Bowl stranglehold," 25 Nov. 2019 When to kick the hornet’s nest Unchecked, gangs will commit crimes like theft and extortion, induce corruption and terrorise citizens. The Economist, "The lessons of a shootout in Sinaloa," 21 Oct. 2019 Wasps, not bees Though their yellow-and-black coloring might closely resemble bees, yellow jackets are in the wasp family, more closely related to a red paper wasp or a stinging hornet than a honey bee. Dennis Pillion | Dpillion@al.com, al.com, "Yellow jacket ‘super nests’ now in 10 Alabama counties," 17 July 2019 Sprint, modified, pure stock and hornet racing on 3/8 mile high banked, clay oval track. Luann Gibbs, Cincinnati.com, "Things to do this week in Cincinnati: Aug. 26-Sept. 2," 26 Aug. 2019 The latest challenge on Martino’s coaching ledger is living in the hornet’s nest at the helm of Mexico’s top club. Terrence Thomas, ExpressNews.com, "A lasting image of success," 14 Aug. 2019 However, last month’s placement of one of those mannequins in Nike’s London flagship store unexpectedly kicked a hornet’s nest. Carrie Dennett, Washington Post, "The many reasons a British writer was wrong to disparage Nike’s plus-size mannequins," 17 July 2019 Bites, kicks and stings from farm animals, bees, wasps, hornets and dogs still represent the most danger to humans, a 2018 study in Wilderness and Environmental Medicine reports. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "A shark attack while snorkeling is extremely rare. Tips on how to avoid it," 27 June 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

6 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hornet.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hornet. Accessed 18 January 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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