social insect

noun

Definition of social insect

: an insect (such as a termite or bee) that lives in a colony or community with other individuals of the same species … a number of other entomologists prefer to view ant colonies and the societies of other social insects as more like superorganisms than communities of individualized organisms.— Robert L. O'Connell The evolution of worker behavior in the social insects is usually explained by kin selection: although workers do not produce offspring, they do reproduce their genes by aiding the reproduction of relatives.— David C. Queller et al.

Examples of social insect in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Most social insect colonies have complex systems for dividing up tasks. Michael Schulson, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 July 2020 Most social insect colonies have complex systems for dividing up tasks. Michael Schulson, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 July 2020 Most social insect colonies have complex systems for dividing up tasks. Michael Schulson, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 July 2020 Most social insect colonies have complex systems for dividing up tasks. Michael Schulson, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 July 2020 Most social insect colonies have complex systems for dividing up tasks. Michael Schulson, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 July 2020 Most social insect colonies have complex systems for dividing up tasks. Michael Schulson, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 July 2020 Most social insect colonies have complex systems for dividing up tasks. Michael Schulson, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 July 2020 Most social insect colonies have complex systems for dividing up tasks. Michael Schulson, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'social insect.' 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 social insect

1847, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for social insect

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The first known use of social insect was in 1847

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Dictionary Entries Near social insect

social hygiene

social insect

social insurance

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Cite this Entry

“Social insect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/social%20insect. Accessed 28 Sep. 2021.

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