Car"pen*ter (?), n. [OF. carpentier, F. charpentier, LL. carpentarius, fr. L. carpentum wagon, carriage.]
An artificer who works in timber; a framer and builder of houses, ships, etc.
Syn. -- Carpenter, Joiner. The carpenter frames and puts together roofs, partitions, floors, and other structural parts of a building. The joiner Supplies stairs, doors shutters, mantelpieces, cupboards, and other parts necessary to finishing the building. In America the two trades are commonly united.
Carpenter ant Zool., any species of ant which gnaws galleries in the wood of trees and constructs its nests therein. They usually select dead or somewhat decayed wood. The common large American species is Formica Pennsylvanica. -- Carpenter bee Zool., a large hymenopterous insect of the genus Xylocopa; -- so called because it constructs its nest by gnawing long galleries in sound timber. The common American species is Xylocopa Virginica.
© Webster 1913.