Definition of paper wasp in US English:

paper wasp


  • A social wasp that forms a small umbrella-shaped nest made from wood pulp.

    Genus Polistes, family Vespidae

    • ‘The word wasp almost immediately conjures up an image of hornets swarming from papery football-shaped nests, or the fierce stings of the common paper wasp.’
    • ‘Native to North America, the paper wasp Polistes fuscatus lives in colonies of one or two queens, and usually fewer than a hundred workers.’
    • ‘The paper wasps that nest under the eaves are not usually picnic pests, and are great caterpillar hunters, so unless the nest is near a doorway, it's best to leave them be.’
    • ‘South African paper wasps, or hornets as they are also called, are often encountered underneath overhangs such as the eaves of roofs but do not form very big groups.’
    • ‘She's a paper wasp, specifically a member of the genus Polistes, the sort that builds small, open-celled, umbrella-like nests beneath eaves and picnic-shelter roofs.’