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

Wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets can put a serious damper on your outdoor fun. Jean Nick, Good Housekeeping, "How to Wasp-Proof Your Backyard This Summer," 26 July 2018 This is a probe into a hornet’s nest plopped on a third-rail shrouded in a haze — bearing who-knows-what-substantial-upside and/or unanticipated consequences in the bigger picture. Vahe Gregorian, kansascity, "The Royals are considering trying to sign Luke Heimlich. Here's why they shouldn't," 25 June 2018 In distant second are bees, wasps and hornets (60 deaths yearly), dogs (20 to 30), cows (about 20) and horses (also about 20). Bill Heavey, WSJ, "Summer Books: Camping," 23 May 2018 Paragon The Paragon Speedway's annual event on June 30 features sprints, super stocks, bombers and hornets and closes with a fireworks display. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Where to watch 4th of July fireworks around Indianapolis," 4 June 2018 Bees, wasps and hornets caused the most harm among wild animals. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "In Arizona, bees are more dangerous than snakes. But watch out for the dogs.," 21 Mar. 2018 Wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets can put a serious crimp in your outdoor fun. Jean Nick, Good Housekeeping, "How To Wasp-Proof Your Backyard For Outdoor Summer Living," 21 June 2017 Of the 1,610 people killed in encounters with animals between 2008 and 2015, 478 were killed by hornets, wasps and bees, and 272 by dogs, according to a study published in Wilderness & Environmental Medicine. Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times, "Afraid of Snakes? Wasps and Dogs Are Deadlier," 5 Mar. 2018 From the get-go, negotiators stirred up a hornet’s nest by trying to lure Japan and Thailand (a global capital of light-truck production) into the deal by promising to phase out the U.S. chicken tax on pickups. WSJ, "Your Pickup Truck Takes You for a Ride," 30 Mar. 2018

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

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

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More Definitions for hornet



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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having a desire to acquire more things

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