termite

noun
ter·​mite | \ ˈtər-ˌmīt How to pronounce termite (audio) \

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 on the Web For a less toxic way to kill termites, use boric acid. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Get Rid of Common House Pests," 17 Feb. 2020 These ‘termites of the sea’ convert wood into animal tissue, forming the base of a food chain that can support a rich diversity of fish, invertebrates, and microorganisms in communities that resemble thriving coral reefs. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Scientists Explore Prehistoric Forest Entombed off the Coast of Alabama," 4 Apr. 2020 There are Wiffle balls in the gutters and termites in the porch. Chris Erskinecolumnist, Los Angeles Times, "Chris Erskine: My daughter’s wedding is on hold. Blame coronavirus," 16 Apr. 2020 Old termites blow themselves up to protect the nest Certainly our most explosive animal story of the past 10 years. David Grimm, Science | AAAS, "Our favorite science news stories of the decade," 20 Dec. 2019 However, in most cases, there are a several DIY treatments that are effective at killing termites. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Get Rid of Common House Pests," 17 Feb. 2020 Visitors to the bluff overlooking the confluence of two great American rivers must bat away swarming termites — perhaps the only constituency that has profited from the last 13 years in Harpers Ferry. Peter Jamison, Washington Post, "Death threats and illegal voting: The war over a luxury resort in Harpers Ferry," 17 Feb. 2020 The deck had termites and the carpet and furnishings were worn. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "Newport’s CdM library begins new chapter," 17 Sep. 2019 First, there is biological methane, which comes from agriculture - particularly the belches of ruminant animals, such as cows, and from rice fields - but also from wetlands, landfills, termites and more. Chris Mooney, Anchorage Daily News, "Methane is a hard-hitting greenhouse gas. Scientists say we’ve dramatically underestimated how much we’re emitting.," 19 Feb. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of termite

1781, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for 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 throw entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about termite

Time Traveler for termite

Time Traveler

The first known use of termite was in 1781

See more words from the same year

Statistics for termite

Cite this Entry

“Termite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/termite. Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for termite

termite

noun
How to pronounce termite (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of termite

: a kind of soft, white insect that lives in groups, eats wood, and causes a lot of damage to wooden structures

termite

noun
ter·​mite | \ ˈtər-ˌmīt How to pronounce termite (audio) \

Kids Definition of termite

: a chewing insect resembling an ant that lives in large colonies and feeds on wood

More from Merriam-Webster on termite

Nglish: Translation of termite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about termite

Comments on termite

What made you want to look up termite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!