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A small insect typically having a sting and living in a complex social colony with one or more breeding queens. It is wingless except for fertile adults, which form large mating swarms, and is proverbial for its industriousness.
- ‘Two or three black ants would surround an enemy ant and bite it to death.’
- ‘He had tried to get out of the house, but there were ants swarming all over the door.’
- ‘He has red hair, shouts incessantly and moves as though a colony of ants has invaded his tracksuit trousers.’
- ‘At this point the leading ants panic and backtrack to the safety of the swarm.’
- ‘To scientists, that's as bizarre a finding as a queen bee spawning a colony of ants.’
- ‘Over at Peter's there has been talk of flying ants and mozzies that seem to be attacking us in their thousands this year.’
- ‘From schools of fish to a swarm of ants, animals exhibit extraordinary collective behaviour.’
- ‘Some will give a colony of ants an extra push to bring sugar and food to it's families.’
- ‘The ants were the most prolific of the insects we were likely to encounter daily.’
- ‘Farmers have traditionally used sugary solutions to attract red ants to feed on insect larvae.’
- ‘Outside were long lines of ants and other small insects hanging around and seemingly without very much to do.’
- ‘Alternatively, an insecticide can be used that will simply kill the ants.’
- ‘Anteaters have long snouts which they thrust into ant-heaps in order to devour the ants or termites.’
- ‘I got home yesterday evening to find the kitchen absolutely swarming with ants.’
- ‘Today this woman called in very upset because she caught her little daughter eating ants.’
- ‘Then we discovered tool-using animals, chimpanzees using sticks to dig ants out of anthills.’
- ‘You had to go barefoot in the temple, and with food offerings on the floor the place was swarming with ants.’
- ‘The next time either of those two ants meet any other ant, the information they pass on will be different.’
- ‘The ants consume the honeydew as food, thus sustaining the life of both insects.’
- ‘Bees belong to the third largest insect order which also includes wasps and ants.’
have ants in one's pants
informal Be fidgety or restless:‘what's the matter with you, always fidgeting—you got ants in your pants?’
move restlessly, wriggle, squirm, twitch, jiggle, writhe, twist, shuffle, be jittery, be anxious, be agitatedView synonyms
- ‘I have so much energy that the little kids I baby-sit told me it looks like I have ants in my pants.’
- ‘He appeared to have ants in his pants, refusing to stand still for a minute.’
- ‘I tossed and turned, and finally Shirley said something like I had ants in my pants, something like that, anyway, and decided to walk the house to try and fall asleep.’
- ‘Maybe it's just God trying to tell me to keep still and stop acting like I have ants in my pants, to just be calm and happy that all is well.’
- ‘Anyway, I can't sit still - I've always had ants in my pants, and I can't see me sitting in the dressing room for four or five weeks.’
the ant's pants
informal An outstandingly good person or thing:‘we had a great party that night thinking we were the ant's pants’
- ‘She thinks she's the ant's pants because her husband drives a Porsche.’
- ‘I had always thought a quantum computer would be the ant's pants.’
- ‘I've already lined up some of the unemployed fishermen to man the boats and they think I'm the ant's pants.’
- ‘After a careful read of this book, I came to the conclusion that her volume is the ant's pants of how-to books in the video field.’
- ‘The plush hotel had a pool and spa that were simply the ant's pants.’
- ‘I thought he was the ant's pants.’
- ‘That Queensland treacle is the ant's pants!’
- ‘Here is a car that is supposed to be the ant's pants.’
- ‘Although my bike still wasn't as professional as most of the other guys', I thought it was the ant's pants.’
- ‘The new storage spaces are the ant's pants.’
Old English ǣmete of West Germanic origin; related to German Ameise. Compare with emmet.
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