Ant (#), n. [OE. ante, amete, emete, AS. aemete akin to G. ameise. Cf. Emmet.] Zool.
A hymenopterous insect of the Linnaean 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.
Ant bird Zool., one of a very extensive group of South American birds (Formicariidae), which live on ants. The family includes many species, some of which are called ant shrikes, ant thrushes, and ant wrens. -- Ant rice Bot., a species of grass (Aristida oligantha) cultivated by the agricultural ants of Texas for the sake of its seed.
© Webster 1913.