Main definitions of wasp in English

: wasp1Wasp2

wasp1

noun

  • 1A social winged insect which has a narrow waist and a sting and is typically yellow with black stripes. It constructs a paper nest from wood pulp and raises the larvae on a diet of insects.

    • ‘It stung like a million wasps, but suddenly, my hand was back to normal.’
    • ‘I could see the anxiety on Zack's face when the wasp buzzed past a second time.’
    • ‘I myself was stung by some wasps and went into mild anaphylactic shock.’
    • ‘I closed my eyes and held my breath when the wasp stung me.’
    • ‘It didn't kill the wasps, the nest was made of paper so it absorbed the shock and just split open.’
    • ‘A nest of wasps gathered in my mother-in-law's garden shed and I bought a spray and killed them all.’
    • ‘I wouldn't mind, as I remind my wife, but I've never in my life been stung by a wasp.’
    • ‘Another hazard that sometimes faced the picker was disturbing a nest of wasps or some other stinging creatures.’
    • ‘Most stinging wasps and bees are beneficial and should be preserved unless they pose a direct hazard to humans.’
    • ‘Once, he was bitten by a horrendous dog, and was also stung by a wasp.’
    • ‘In many eusocial wasps, nests are founded by single females that remain alone until offspring emergence.’
    • ‘When a nasty wasp stung two of us, the shaman congratulated us, saying it would help mitigate the future contraction of arthritis.’
    • ‘Swarms of bees and wasps would also have nested in the forest.’
    • ‘Among the Caribs, the girls undergo a similar ritual, except that stinging ants rather than wasps are used.’
    • ‘Bites from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and fire ants are typically the most troublesome.’
    • ‘I was cleaning up my flowerbeds for fall when a wasp flew up and stung me on the cheek.’
    • ‘When a male wasp crashes into the orchid, it gets covered with orchid pollen.’
    • ‘Common wasps are social insects and live in nests of up to around 10,000 workers.’
    • ‘But this is the time of year that a lot of people usually get stung by wasps or bees.’
    • ‘The latest accident is thought to have been triggered when one of the horses was stung by a wasp, causing it to bolt.’
  • 2A solitary winged insect with a narrow waist, mostly distantly related to the social wasps and including many parasitic kinds.

    • ‘Each spider was supplied with aphids, flies, plant hoppers, and parasitoid wasps.’
    • ‘There is also a parasitic wasp that attacks them but they are not effective enough to prevent the damage.’
    • ‘Since their introduction, the beneficial wasps have helped control plant bug populations throughout the Northeast.’
    • ‘We believe effective fly control will require the utilization of parasitic wasp species native to Nebraska.’
    • ‘Female parasitic wasps lay their eggs on the caterpillars.’
    • ‘These volatiles can attract the natural enemies of these herbivores, for example, parasitoid wasps.’
    • ‘In the case of many parasitoid wasps, other compounds come from the venom the mother injects with her eggs.’
    • ‘Parasitic wasps and fungal diseases prevent weevils from causing economic injury in most years.’
    • ‘A few days later the egg hatches and the wasp larva eats the cicada alive.’
    • ‘On TV the eggs hatch and the tiny wasps eat the spider alive.’
    • ‘Tussock moth larvae that are not killed by parasitic wasps and predators turn into brightly marked caterpillars.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, it is parasitized by wasps, flies, and nematodes.’
    • ‘Female wasps parasitize fruit flies by inserting their eggs into fruit fly eggs.’
    • ‘The apparent advantage for the eggs is that, buried in the debris, they are less likely to be parasitized by wasps.’
    • ‘The wasps parasitized these new hosts, killing nineteen of every twenty flies.’
    • ‘The main causes of egg mortality are predators and a parasitoid wasp.’
    • ‘Parasitoid wasps have proved to be an extremely useful model system for testing ideas in this area.’
    • ‘In the garden dill attracts beneficial insects, including bees, parasitic wasps and tachinid flies.’
    • ‘Certain types of parasitic insects, most commonly flies and wasps, thrive on other insect hosts.’

Origin

Old English wæfs, wæps, wæsp, of West Germanic origin, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin vespa; perhaps related to weave (from the web-like form of its nest).

Pronunciation

wasp

/wɒsp/

Main definitions of wasp in English

: wasp1Wasp2

Wasp2

(also WASP)

noun

North American
  • An upper- or middle-class American white Protestant, considered to be a member of the most powerful group in society.

    • ‘Old-guard Wasps appear to feel threatened by the newly rich and their growing influence around the city, and dismiss new money as ‘tasteless and gauche.’’
    • ‘But the criticism of WASPs as a group, says Brookhiser, is only a symptom of a deeper ill.’

Origin

1960s: acronym from white Anglo-Saxon Protestant.

Pronunciation

Wasp

/wɒsp/