murder hornet


plural murder hornets
: northern giant hornet

Note: This insect, formerly known as the Asian giant hornet, murder hornet, or Japanese giant hornet, was officially renamed the northern giant hornet by the Entomological Society of America in July 2022 in order to comply with Society policies discouraging geographic references for invasive species.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Earlier this year, nearly 1,000 hornet traps were set in Whatcom County, where the murder hornets were confirmed. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, 18 Aug. 2022 No murder hornet deaths have been reported in the USA. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 13 Sep. 2021 The northern giant hornet, most notoriously known as the murder hornet, has been given a new common name that accurately describes its origins. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 26 July 2022 The murder hornet was recently detected in Washington, where entomologists are trying to eradicate it. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, 9 Dec. 2020 Instead, the classification is meant to put it on par with creatures like the northern giant hornet, also known as the murder hornet. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 28 July 2022 In a quest to wipe out the 'murder hornet,' scientists will set 1,000 traps in Washington state. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 25 May 2022 It's been a tumultuous year with a worldwide pandemic, a record number of hurricanes and wildfires and the arrival of the dangerous murder hornet in North America. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, 11 Nov. 2020 Additional touches include a giant papier-mâché murder hornet on her back and sticks and felt flames on her boots to represent the West Coast wildfires. Gillian Friedman, New York Times, 29 Oct. 2020 See More

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

2020, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of murder hornet was in 2020

Dictionary Entries Near murder hornet

Cite this Entry

“Murder hornet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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