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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Ant


AN'T, in old authors, is a contraction of an it, that is if it. [See An.]

ANT, in our vulgar dialect, as in the phrases, I ant you ant he ant we ant etc., is undoubtedly a contraction of the Danish er, ere, the substantive verb in the present tense of the Indicative Mode. These phrases are doubtless legitimate remains of the Gothic dialect.

'ANT, noun

An emmet; a pismire. Ants constitute a genus of insects of the hymenopteral order, of which the characteristics are; a small scale between the breast and belly, with a joint so deep that the animal appears as if almost cut in two. The females, and the neuter or working ants, which have no sexual characteristics, are furnished with a hidden sting; and both males and females have wings, but the neuters have none. These insects meet together in companies, and maintain a sort of republic. They raise hillocks of earth, in which they live. In these there are paths, leading to the repositories of their provisions. The large black ants, in the warm climates of America, to avoid the effects of great rains, build large nests on trees, of light earth, roundish and plastered smooth.