Definition of termite
: any of numerous pale-colored soft-bodied social insects (order Isoptera) that live in colonies consisting usually of winged sexual forms, wingless sterile workers, and soldiers, feed on wood, and include some which are very destructive to wooden structures and trees —called also white ant
Examples of termite in a Sentence
The house has a lot of termite damage.
Recent Examples of termite from the Web
Laland is a high-profile advocate for the idea of niche construction, a term from evolutionary theory that encompasses burrows, beaver dams and nests of birds and termites.
Termites caused so much damage to the structure over the years that the city has decided to tear it down rather than try to fix it.
Affected by heat and summer thundershowers, various species of ants and termites emerge from the ground as winged adults, taking to the air to find mates.
For example, molecular data is firmly coming to the conclusion that termites, previously considered to be in a separate order from cockroaches, are actually wood-eating cockroaches that became social.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'termite'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of termite
New Latin Termit-, Termes, genus of termites, from Late Latin, a worm that eats wood, alteration of Latin tarmit-, tarmes; akin to Greek tetrainein to bore — more at 1throw
First Known Use: 1781
TERMITE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of termite for English Language Learners
: a kind of soft, white insect that lives in groups, eats wood, and causes a lot of damage to wooden structures
TERMITE Defined for Kids
Definition of termite for Students
: a chewing insect resembling an ant that lives in large colonies and feeds on wood
Seen and Heard
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