Pronunciation: (ant), [key]
1. any of numerous black, red, brown, or yellow social insects of the family Formicidae, of worldwide distribution esp. in warm climates, having a large head with inner jaws for chewing and outer jaws for carrying and digging, and living in highly organized colonies containing wingless female workers, a winged queen, and, during breeding seasons, winged males, some species being noted for engaging in warfare, slavemaking, or the cultivation of food sources.
2. have ants in one's pants, be impatient or eager to act or speak.


Pronunciation: (ant, änt, ānt), [key]
1. Chiefly Brit. Dial.contraction of am not.
2. Dial.ain't.


var. of anti- before a vowel or h: antacid; anthelmintic.


a suffix forming adjectives and nouns from verbs, occurring originally in French and Latin loanwords (pleasant; constant; servant) and productive in English on this model; -ant has the general sense “characterized by or serving in the capacity of ” that named by the stem (ascendant; pretendant), esp. in the formation of nouns denoting human agents in legal actions or other formal procedures (tenant; defendant; applicant; contestant). In technical and commercial coinages, -ant is a suffix of nouns denoting impersonal physical agents (propellant; lubricant; deodorant). In general, -ant can be added only to bases of Latin origin, with a very few exceptions, as coolant. See also -ent.


1. antenna
2. antonym.



Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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See also:
  • ant (Thesaurus)
  • ant (Encyclopedia)


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