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 The real problems are termites, window replacement and a host of other crises. Carl Nolte, SFChronicle.com, "You know ’em — those awful jingles on the radio. They’re the real songs of San Francisco," 23 Nov. 2019 Computer scientist Radikha Nagpal has been conducting research on the architectural feats of termites and the movement of schools of fish and flocks of birds. BostonGlobe.com, "With a little practice she got it down to five minutes," 19 Oct. 2019 The experts at Custom Green Lawns & Pest Control understand the importance of removing destructible bugs such as termites but also that some insects are essential. orlandosentinel.com, "2019 Orlando Sentinel Best Bets: Home & Services winners," 6 Oct. 2019 In addition, attendees can explore seminars on topics ranging from termites to home protection from natural disasters and many topics in between. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando Fall Home & Garden Show will feature smart home tech, gardening experts," 22 Aug. 2019 Neither termites nor tree roots will keep the Spring Creek County Historical Association from preserving pieces of Tomball history, some dating back to the 1800s. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "Museum tackles termites, tree roots to preserve more than a century of Tomball history," 29 Aug. 2019 Additionally, methane can leak from mud volcanoes, rice fields, and strangely, termites. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "What Is Methane, Anyway?," 29 Aug. 2019 The wood sold nowadays is new growth that does not fare well when exposed to sun, rain, termites or dry rot. Pat Kapowich, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Don’t play the blame game over rotting fence posts; some simple steps can reinforce friendship and property values," 22 Aug. 2019 Pangolins are toothless and use a stickytongue— the giant’s stretches nearly two feet—to feast on termites. Paul Hilton, National Geographic, "Poaching is sending the shy, elusive pangolin to its doom," 17 June 2019

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

Last Updated

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Termite.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/termite?show=0&t=1420442739. Accessed 7 December 2019.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on termite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with termite

Spanish Central: Translation of 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

the study of flags

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!