Definition of ant in English:

ant

noun

  • A small insect, often with a sting, that usually lives in a complex social colony with one or more breeding queens. It is wingless except for fertile adults, which often form large mating swarms, and is proverbial for industriousness.

    • ‘Then we discovered tool-using animals, chimpanzees using sticks to dig ants out of anthills.’
    • ‘He had tried to get out of the house, but there were ants swarming all over the door.’
    • ‘Some will give a colony of ants an extra push to bring sugar and food to it's families.’
    • ‘Over at Peter's there has been talk of flying ants and mozzies that seem to be attacking us in their thousands this year.’
    • ‘He has red hair, shouts incessantly and moves as though a colony of ants has invaded his tracksuit trousers.’
    • ‘I got home yesterday evening to find the kitchen absolutely swarming with ants.’
    • ‘Two or three black ants would surround an enemy ant and bite it to death.’
    • ‘Outside were long lines of ants and other small insects hanging around and seemingly without very much to do.’
    • ‘Farmers have traditionally used sugary solutions to attract red ants to feed on insect larvae.’
    • ‘Bees belong to the third largest insect order which also includes wasps and ants.’
    • ‘The ants were the most prolific of the insects we were likely to encounter daily.’
    • ‘Anteaters have long snouts which they thrust into ant-heaps in order to devour the ants or termites.’
    • ‘The ants consume the honeydew as food, thus sustaining the life of both insects.’
    • ‘Alternatively, an insecticide can be used that will simply kill the ants.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Today this woman called in very upset because she caught her little daughter eating ants.’
    • ‘The next time either of those two ants meet any other ant, the information they pass on will be different.’
    • ‘You had to go barefoot in the temple, and with food offerings on the floor the place was swarming with ants.’
    • ‘From schools of fish to a swarm of ants, animals exhibit extraordinary collective behaviour.’

Phrases

  • have ants in one's pants

    • informal Be fidgety or restless.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I have so much energy that the little kids I baby-sit told me it looks like I have ants in my pants.’
      move restlessly, wriggle, squirm, twitch, jiggle, writhe, twist, shuffle, be jittery, be anxious, be agitated
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English ǣmete; related to German Ameise. Compare with emmet.

Pronunciation:

ant

/ant/