termite

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See also: Termite and térmite

English[edit]

termites

Etymology[edit]

French termite, which is from Latin termites (three syllables), plural of termes.

Also possible a derivation from Proto-Indo-European *term- (drill).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

termite (plural termites)

  1. A white-bodied, wood-consuming insect of the infraorder Isoptera, in the order Blattodea.
    • 1802, Francis William Blagdon, Modern Discoveries; or, a Collection of facts and observations, vol. IV, page 162
      Linnæus describes this insect under the Latin name of Termes; and citizen Cuvier speaks of it under that of Termites. The vulgar call it by that of white ant, or fourmi vaguevague. The termites divide themselves into societies: each society builds itself a next, and each nest belongs to an innumerable quantity of these insects, who acknowledge for their chiefs a king and a queen.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

termite (third-person singular simple present termites, present participle termiting, simple past and past participle termited)

  1. (intransitive) Of a chimpanzee: to catch termites by inserting a stick or vine into their nest and waiting for them to climb up it.

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Back-formation from termites. From Late Latin termites (plural of termes), late variant of the Classical Latin tarmes (woodworm).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

termite m or f (plural termites)

  1. termite (white-bodied, wood-consuming insect)
    • 1798, Georges Cuvier, Tableau élémentaire de l'histoire naturelle des animaux, page 479
      Les termites parfaits ont le corps et la tête applatis horizontalement ; trois articles à tous les doigts. Leurs antennes, en forme de chapelet, les distinguent assez des autres genres de cet ordre. […]
      1. Le termite belliqueux. (Termes fatale.)
      Est l'espèce la plus grande et la plus commune. […]
      2. Le termite atroce. (Termes arda.)
      Noir, à pieds pâles, et
      3. Le termite mordant. (Termes mordax.)
      Noir, à pieds de même couleur.

Usage notes[edit]

While most dictionaries give termite has masculine, it is commonly used as a feminine noun, due to the ending -ite.

Synonyms[edit]

Further reading[edit]


Italian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Late Latin termes, termitēs.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

termite m (plural termiti)

  1. termite (white-bodied, wood-consuming insect)

Anagrams[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • termite in Treccani.it – Vocabolario Treccani on line, Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana

Latin[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

termite m

  1. ablative singular of termes