Definition of Hymenoptera in US English:


plural noun

  • 1A large order of insects that includes the bees, wasps, ants, and sawflies. These insects have four transparent wings and the females typically have a sting.

    • ‘They belong to the order Hymenoptera, which includes bees, wasps, sawflies, and ichneumons.’
    • ‘Flowers are visited by a diverse pollinator assemblage comprising Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera and Coleoptera.’
    • ‘They frequently feed on Hymenoptera (bees, wasps and ants), Diptera (true flies), Hemiptera (true bugs) and Coleoptera (beetles).’
    • ‘Lepidoptera, Coleoptera and Hymenoptera were the most represented orders in terms of the number of species observed.’
    • ‘And ants are in the order Hymenoptera, which is the same order as wasps and bees.’
    1. 1.1as plural noun hymenoptera Insects of the order Hymenoptera.


Modern Latin (plural), from Greek humenopteros ‘membrane-winged’, from humēn ‘membrane’ + pteron ‘wing’.