emmet

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See also: Emmet

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Middle English emete, from Old English æmete, (bef. 12c) Cognate to ant.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

emmet (plural emmets)

  1. (archaic) An ant.
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, New York Review of Books, 2001, p.47:
      He told him that he saw a vast multitude and a promiscuous, their habitations like molehills, the men as emmets […].
    • 1789, William Blake, Songs of Innocence, A Dream:
      Once a dream did weave a shade / O'er my angel-guarded bed / That an emmet lost its way / Where on grass methought I lay.
    • 1814, William Wordsworth, The Excursion, IV.430:
      [A benignity that] to the emmet gives / Her foresight, and intelligence that makes / The tiny creatures strong by social league.
    • 1993, Anthony Burgess, A Dead Man in Deptford:
      We are scurrying emmets or pismires with our sad little comedies.
  2. (Cornish, pejorative) A tourist.