ant

Definitions

  • The Ant Lion and adult
    The Ant Lion and adult
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n ant social insect living in organized colonies; characteristically the males and fertile queen have wings during breeding season; wingless sterile females are the workers
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Additional illustrations & photos:

The little black ant The little black ant
Wood-ant Wood-ant
Ant-eater Ant-eater
Ant Lion painting Ant Lion painting
THE ANT AND THE FLY THE ANT AND THE FLY
THE ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER THE ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER
THE DOVE AND THE ANT THE DOVE AND THE ANT

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A myrmecologist studies ants
    • n Ant (Zoöl) A hymenopterous insect of the Linnæan genus Formica, which is now made a family of several genera; an emmet; a pismire.☞ Among ants, as among bees, there are neuter or working ants, besides the males and females; the former are without wings. Ants live together in swarms, usually raising hillocks of earth, variously chambered within, where they maintain a perfect system of order, store their provisions, and nurture their young. There are many species, with diverse habits, as agricultural ants carpenter ants honey ants foraging ants amazon ants, etc. The white ants or Termites belong to the Neuroptera.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The average life expectancy of an ant is about 90 days
    • n ant An emmet; a hymenopterous insect of the family Formicidœ and the Linnean genus Formica, now divided into several genera. Ants live in communities, and the internal economy of their nest or hillock presents an extraordinary example of the results of combined industry. Each community comprises males with four wings, females much larger than the males and possessing wings during the pairing season only, and barren females, called neuters, workers, or nurses, destitute of wings. The females lay their eggs in parcels of six or more. The males and females desert the nest and copulate soon after becoming perfect; but the latter are brought back by the workers, or else found new colonies, with or without help. The male, like the drone-bee, becomes useless after impregnating the female. The grubs spin a cocoon, and become pupæ, which resemble barleycorns, and are popularly taken for eggs. Under the names of ants' brood, ants' eggs, they are an article of import in some northern countries for making formic acid; a solution of them in water is used for vinegar in Norway. The young grubs are fed by the females and by the nurses, who also construct the streets and galleries of the colony, and in general perform all the work of the community. There are many kinds of ants, called from the operations they perform mining-ants, carpenters, masons, etc. The favorite food of ants is honey, particularly the honey-dew excreted by aphids; but they also live on fruits, insects and their larvæ, and dead birds and mammals. They are torpid in winter. Those of the same or different species engage in pitched battles, and capture slaves or take larvæ from other nests. Some species have stings, others squirt out an irritant fluid (formic acid). See cut under Atta. The name ant, or white ant, is also given to insects of the neuropterous genus Termes. See termite.
    • ant An old form of and.
    • n ant A former spelling of aunt.
    • n ant The form of anti- before vowels in words taken from or formed according to the Greek, as in antagonist. In words formed in English, anti- usually remains unchanged before a vowel, as in anti-episcopal, etc.
    • n ant A suffix of adjectives, and of nouns originally adjectives, primarily (in the original Latin) a present participle suffix, cognate with the original form (AS. -ende) of English -ing, as in dominant, ruling, regnant, reigning, radiant, beaming, etc. See -ent.
    • n ant A corruption of -an, of various origin, as in pageant, peasant, pheasant, truant, tyrant. See these words.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: An ant can detect a movement through 5 centimeters of earth
    • n Ant ant a small insect: the emmet or pismire
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Quotations

  • Forest Whitaker
    Forest Whitaker
    “I'm an actor. And I guess I've done so many movies I've achieved some high visibility. But a star? I guess I still think of myself as kind of a worker ant.”
  • Mexican Proverb
    Mexican Proverb
    “An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.”
  • Henry David Thoreau
    Henry%20David%20Thoreau
    “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”
  • Isak Dinesen
    Isak Dinesen
    “I don't believe in evil, I believe only in horror. In nature there is no evil, only an abundance of horror: the plagues and the blights and the ants and the maggots.”
  • Isak Dinesen
    Isak Dinesen
    “I don't believe in evil, I believe only in horror. In nature there is no evil, only an abundance of horror: the plagues and the blights and the ants and the maggots.”
  • Elizabeth Smart
    Elizabeth Smart
    “Go to the ant, thou sluggard, learn to live, and by her busy ways, reform thy own.”

Idioms

Ants in your pants - If someone has ants in their pants, they are agitated or excited about something and can't keep still.
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Penny ante - (USA) Something that is very unimportant is penny ante.
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Up the ante - If you up the ante, you increase the importance or value of something, especially where there's an element of risk as the term comes from gambling, where it means to increase the stake (the amount of money bet).
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. ante, amete, emete, AS. æmete, akin to G. ameise,. Cf. Emmet
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A contr. of Emmet—A.S. æmete.

Usage

In literature:

In the driver ant of West Africa one kind of neuter is three times the size of the other, and has jaws nearly five times as long.
"Are the Effects of Use and Disuse Inherited?" by William Platt Ball
There were ant-hills near, each covered with hundreds of little busy labourers, passing in swarms to and fro.
"The Sand-Hills of Jutland" by Hans Christian Andersen
Look like ants, don't they?
"Boy Scouts in the Canal Zone" by G. Harvey Ralphson
Lily, what were you so busy about, at the ant-hill in the wood, this morning?
"The Crown of Wild Olive" by John Ruskin
Her name is Penny Ante.
"Penny of Top Hill Trail" by Belle Kanaris Maniates
But we can give the ants a commission; they run here and there, as if they all had so much business to get through.
"Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen" by Hans Christian Andersen
What wouldn't I give for the privilege of shrinking to ant-size, and roaming loose in that secretive-looking mound behind us!
"The Raid on the Termites" by Paul Ernst
See to M. de Lalande, and then wait in the ante-chamber.
"My Sword's My Fortune" by Herbert Hayens
English oak seemed like a slice of cake to white ants.
"Sketches of Our Life at Sarawak" by Harriette McDougall
Generally we be'ant cruel men, we be'ant.
"The Birthright" by Joseph Hocking
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In poetry:

Imitate the prudent ant,
Labour like the busy bee.”
O the everlasting cant!
Loafing’s good for you and me.
"Lali" by John Le Gay Brereton
He warbled Apiarian praise,
And taught her in his chant
To shun the dog's pugnacious ways,
And imitate the ant.
"First Love" by William Schwenck Gilbert
"What is it I see?" said Keezar
"Am I here, or ant I there?
Is it a fete at Bingen?
Do I look on Frankfort fair?
"Cobbler Keezar's Vision" by John Greenleaf Whittier
But goosey all these weary years
Had toiled like any ant,
And wearied out she now replied
"My little dears, I can't.
"The Lay Of A Golden Goose" by Louisa May Alcott
"The ants demand a special coach
If one ant-eater goes;
The dormouse wants a sleeping car;
The chickens shun the crows;
"August" by Nancy Byrd Turner
She is lying on an ant hill
Soon the ants come out to play
Then she wakes and finds she's bitten
On the road to Mandalay.
"Mandalay 1" by Billy Bennett

In news:

State Treasurer Lynn Fitch - like Evelyn Gandy, Amy Tuck and other strong women in Mississippi politics - isn't afraid of kicking political ant hills.
Like ants and honeybees, beetles communicate via scented chemicals called pheromones , one of which warns the insects to stay away from particular trees.
Life from now on will be harder for red imported fire ants in some North Texas communities, say experts with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.
Adam and the Ants Picasso Visits The Planet Of The Apes Prince Charming.
Theater Ante Up for Pokerface , Opening This Weekend at Darkhorse.
Most pollinators are animals we see every day – hummingbirds, bats, flies, beetles, wasps, ants, butterflies, moths and bees.
The SRD-ANT-1-PAK supports a single tuner up to 200 feet.
A fire ant raft is so elastic and buoyant that it resists probing by a twig.
A massive group of ants, all linked together, has an enhanced water-repellent ability such that the whole group can float while preventing water from penetrating the raft , Mlot said.
To investigate how the mechanics of raft formation in high resolution, they froze an entire ant raft in liquid nitrogen, then looked at it under a scanning electron microscope.
More Species Should Have Awesome Names Like Rasberry Crazy Ant.
Tiny invasive ant looms large as threat to the islands.
Red fire ants could be hitching a ride to Missouri.
Mark's Bookshop hopes to reinvigorate cash flow with Lucky Ant.
The trademark country-soul sound of the Carpenter Ants comes to Berkeley Springs State Park Saturday, July 21.
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In science:

The measured scale height is signific antly less than that expected for a thick disk (> 1 kpc) and is similar to that for young/intermediate age thin-disk populations.
R Coronae Borealis stars in the Galactic Bulge discovered by EROS-2
But, how do real investors, traders, fund managers access the value their investment decisions? Necessarily by performing some kind of comparisons between the realized performance and some benchmarks, which can be a market portfolio, the results of competitors, the ex-ante expectations, all the above or others.
How to grow a bubble: A model of myopic adapting agents
Out of the 102 financial crises in her database, she finds that the specificity of the indicators is quite low: only 39% of the ex-ante diagnostics coincided with a crisis, suggesting that fundamental reasons should be expanded by behavioural ones to explain the emergence of crises.
How to grow a bubble: A model of myopic adapting agents
This technology is of signi fic ant interest for applications in particle tracking and imaging.
A Sensor with Analog and Digital Pixels in 0.15 micron SOI Technology
Let τ be Normal (Gaussian) standard distributed r.v.: Law(τ ) = N (0, 1) ant let T = R = (−∞, ∞).
Support of Borelian Measures in Separable Banach Spaces
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