• WordNet 3.6
    • n hornet large stinging paper wasp
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Hornet (Zoöl) A large, strong wasp. The European species (Vespa crabro) is of a dark brown and yellow color. It is very pugnacious, and its sting is very severe. Its nest is constructed of a paperlike material, and the layers of comb are hung together by columns. The American white-faced hornet (Vespa maculata) is larger and has similar habits.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n hornet An insect of the wasp family, of the genus Vespa, much larger and stronger than wasps of other species, and capable of inflicting a more severe and painful sting. Hornets congregate in a cellular nest formed of a substance resembling coarse paper, elaborated from leaves and particles of wood. The nest is sometimes pendent, and sometimes placed in a hollow tree. The European hornet, V. crabro, and the American hornet, or yellow-jacket, V. maculata, are similar in character and habit. The name is often used for any large or formidable wasp, especially one whose sting is exceptionally painful.
    • n hornet Figuratively, a person who annoys by frequent and persistent petty attacks.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Hornet horn′et a species of wasp, so called from its antennæ or horns: a person who pesters with petty but ceaseless attacks
    • ***


Hornets' nest - A hornets' nest is a violent situation or one with a lot of dispute. (If you create the problem, you 'stir up a hornets' nest'.)
Mad as a hornet - (USA) If someone is as mad as a hornet, they are very angry indeed.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. hyrnet,; akin to OHG. hornaz, hornuz, G. horniss,; perh. akin to E. horn, and named from the sound it makes as if blowing the horn; but more prob. akin to D. horzel, Lith. szirszone, L. crabo,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. hyrnet, dim. of horn.


In literature:

"Special Report on Diseases of the Horse" by United States Department of Agriculture
If you mistake hornets for birds, you pay the penalty for your error, as you pay for all mistakes.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 11 (of 14)" by Elbert Hubbard
For the sake of Nancy Brown, he would voluntarily have stepped into any number of hornets' nests.
"The Motor Maids at Sunrise Camp" by Katherine Stokes
I dare say some of the girls will be mad as hornets at being left out, but there can be only nine.
"A Little Girl in Old Boston" by Amanda Millie Douglas
And instantly I was furious with a blind rage that stung me like a thousand hornets.
"A Little Union Scout" by Joel Chandler Harris
The excitement was tremendous; we were riding slap into what looked like a hornets' nest.
"The Relief of Mafeking" by Filson Young
If the patriots could not conquer the British, they at least kept them in a hornets' nest.
"Strange Stories from History for Young People" by George Cary Eggleston
The old queen bee, with fiendish glee, Was pulling a hornet's hair.
"In Blue Creek Cañon" by Anna Chapin Ray
But the United States ship HORNET was never heard of more.
"Ups and Downs in the Life of a Distressed Gentleman" by William L. Stone
His uncle, he said, had made the place a nest of hornets to him.
"Cousin Henry" by Anthony Trollope

In poetry:

Even a hornet came,
With sheathed sting,—
He never yet had seen
So lost a thing!
"A Ballad of The Kind Little Creatures" by Richard Le Gallienne
The old weird cry of plover comes
Across the marshy ways,
And here the hermit hornet hums,
And here the wild bee strays.
"Heath from the Highlands" by Henry Kendall
And where the hermit hornet hums,
When Summer fires his wings with gold,
The hollow voice of August comes,
Across the rain and cold.
"In Memoriam~ -- Alice Fane Gunn Stenhouse" by Henry Kendall
As well I might a hornet fear,
When the arm'd porcupine is near;
Or from a hissing squib retire,
When lightnings set the heavens on fire.
"To A Gentleman: Sitting Next to a Young Lady presents a Pop-Gun to the Author" by Samuel Bowden
"They live on dew and honey,
They do not have any hive,
They do not sting like wasps, and bees, and hornets,
And to be as good as they are we should strive.
"I Write About The Butterfly" by Louisa May Alcott
Then he went to sun-fishin', he sure was a peach,
And I turned from a wild-cat into a leech.
He was mad as a hornet and I guess he saw red,
He was handy afoot and his feet wasn't lead.
"The Ridge-Running Roan" by Curley Fletcher

In news:

Last weekend at the boys state basketball tournament in Lincoln the Giltner Hornets and the Ravenna Blue Jays won state titles, again.
The NEW ORLEANS HORNETS and COACH MONTY WILLIAMS agreed to a four-year extension of his contract to keep him here through 2016.
Keep good thoughts, Hornets fans, and on May 30 maybe New Orleans gets a lottery winner.
Hornets run away with more wins.
Hornets sail through tough contests.
New Orleans Hornets' vigorous season-ticket sales campaign is paying dividends.
Anthony Davis says it's 'not set in stone ' that New Orleans Hornets will draft him.
Hornets — as expected — draft UK's Davis No.
1 overall by the New Orleans Hornets.
Hornets ship Chandler to Oklahoma City.
The next time Chris Paul passes the ball to Tyson Chandler, you'll have to put a tally in the turnover column, because Chandler is no longer a Hornet.
New Orleans Hornets Coach Monty Williams in verbal sparring match with OKC Thunder's Kevin Durant, Kendrick Perkins.
Y@ Speak: Of Rihanna, Hornets and oysters.
Chris Granger / The Times-Picayune Jac Sperling , right, was specifically asked by NBA Commissioner David Stern to help the Hornets.
New Orleans Hornets team president Hugh Weber and governor Jac Sperling sent out a letter to Hornets fans on new owner Tom Benson.