From Middle English ampte, amte, emete, amete, from Old English ǣmette (“ant”), from Proto-Germanic *ēmaitijǭ (“ant”, literally “biting-thing, cutter”), from Proto-Germanic *ē- (“off, away”) + *maitaną (“to cut”), from Proto-Indo-European *mai- (“to cut”). Cognate with Scots emmot (“ant”), dialectal Dutch emt, empt (“ant”), German Ameise and Emse (“ant”). See also emmet.
ant (plural ants)
- Any of various insects in the family Formicidae in the order Hymenoptera, typically living in large colonies composed almost entirely of flightless females.
- (Internet) A Web spider.
ant (third-person singular simple present ants, present participle anting, simple past and past participle anted)
- (ornithology) To rub insects, especially ants, on one's body, perhaps to control parasites or clean feathers.