What does wasp mean?

Definitions for wasp

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word wasp.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. WASP, white Anglo-Saxon Protestantnoun

    a white person of Anglo-Saxon ancestry who belongs to a Protestant denomination

  2. waspnoun

    social or solitary hymenopterans typically having a slender body with the abdomen attached by a narrow stalk and having a formidable sting

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. WASPnoun

    A brisk stinging insect, in form resembling a bee.

    Etymology: weasp , Saxon; vespa, Latin; guespe, French.

    More wasps, that buz about his nose,
    Will make this sting the sooner. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

    Encount’ring with a wasp,
    He in his arms the fly doth clasp. Michael Drayton.

    Why, what a wasp-tongu’d and impatient
    Art thou, to break into this woman’s mood,
    Tying thine ear to no tongue but thine own? William Shakespeare, H. IV.


  1. Wasp

    A wasp is any insect of the narrow-waisted suborder Apocrita of the order Hymenoptera which is neither a bee nor an ant; this excludes the broad-waisted sawflies (Symphyta), which look somewhat like wasps, but are in a separate suborder. The wasps do not constitute a clade, a complete natural group with a single ancestor, as bees and ants are deeply nested within the wasps, having evolved from wasp ancestors. Wasps that are members of the clade Aculeata can sting their prey. The most commonly known wasps, such as yellowjackets and hornets, are in the family Vespidae and are eusocial, living together in a nest with an egg-laying queen and non-reproducing workers. Eusociality is favoured by the unusual haplodiploid system of sex determination in Hymenoptera, as it makes sisters exceptionally closely related to each other. However, the majority of wasp species are solitary, with each adult female living and breeding independently. Females typically have an ovipositor for laying eggs in or near a food source for the larvae, though in the Aculeata the ovipositor is often modified instead into a sting used for defense or prey capture. Wasps play many ecological roles. Some are predators or pollinators, whether to feed themselves or to provision their nests. Many, notably the cuckoo wasps, are kleptoparasites, laying eggs in the nests of other wasps. Many of the solitary wasps are parasitoidal, meaning they lay eggs on or in other insects (any life stage from egg to adult) and often provision their own nests with such hosts. Unlike true parasites, the wasp larvae eventually kill their hosts. Solitary wasps parasitize almost every pest insect, making wasps valuable in horticulture for biological pest control of species such as whitefly in tomatoes and other crops. Wasps first appeared in the fossil record in the Jurassic, and diversified into many surviving superfamilies by the Cretaceous. They are a successful and diverse group of insects with tens of thousands of described species; wasps have spread to all parts of the world except for the polar regions. The largest social wasp is the Asian giant hornet, at up to 5 centimetres (2.0 in) in length; among the largest solitary wasps is a group of species known as tarantula hawks, along with the giant scoliid of Indonesia (Megascolia procer). The smallest wasps are solitary parasitoid wasps in the family Mymaridae, including the world's smallest known insect, with a body length of only 0.139 mm (0.0055 in), and the smallest known flying insect, only 0.15 mm (0.0059 in) long. Wasps have appeared in literature from Classical times, as the eponymous chorus of old men in Aristophanes' 422 BC comedy The Wasps, and in science fiction from H. G. Wells's 1904 novel The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth, featuring giant wasps with three-inch-long stings. The name 'Wasp' has been used for many warships and other military equipment.


  1. wasp

    A wasp is a type of insect known for its slender body and narrow waist, belonging to the Hymenoptera order and Vespidae family. Many species of wasps are predators or parasitic to other insects and some can sting when threatened. They typically have two pairs of wings and a stinger. Among wasp species, there is a wide diversity of colors, sizes, and behaviors. Some species are solitary while others live in communal nests or colonies. Notable types include yellowjackets, hornets, and paper wasps.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Waspnoun

    any one of numerous species of stinging hymenopterous insects, esp. any of the numerous species of the genus Vespa, which includes the true, or social, wasps, some of which are called yellow jackets

  2. Etymology: [OE. waspe, AS. wps, wfs; akin to D. wesp, G. wespe, OHG. wafsa, wefsa, Lith. vapsa gadfly, Russ. osa wasp, L. vespa, and perhaps to E. weave.]


  1. Wasp

    The term wasp is typically defined as any insect of the order Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita that is neither a bee nor an ant. Almost every pest insect species has at least one wasp species that preys upon it or parasitizes it, making wasps critically important in natural control of their numbers, or natural biocontrol. Parasitic wasps are increasingly used in agricultural pest control as they prey mostly on pest insects and have little impact on crops.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Wasp

    wosp, n. a popular name for Hymenopterous insects belonging to the family Vespidæ, or to closely related families—(Wasps are generally more slender and much less hairy than bees, and their stinging organ—an ovipositor—resembles that of bees in structure and mode of action): a petulant and spiteful person.—adjs. Was′pish, like a wasp: having a slender waist like a wasp: quick to resent an affront; Was′pish-head′ed (Shak.), passionate.—adv. Was′pishly.—n. Was′pishness.—adjs. Wasp′-tongued (Shak.), biting in tongue, shrewish; Wasp′-waist′ed, very slender waisted, laced tightly; Was′py, waspish. [A.S. wæsp, wæps; Ger. wespe, L. vespa.]

Suggested Resources

  1. WASP

    What does WASP stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the WASP acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. WASP

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Wasp is ranked #98099 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Wasp surname appeared 185 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Wasp.

    51.3% or 95 total occurrences were White.
    45.4% or 84 total occurrences were Black.
    2.7% or 5 total occurrences were of two or more races.

How to pronounce wasp?

How to say wasp in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of wasp in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of wasp in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of wasp in a Sentence

  1. Bruce Arnold:

    You … have shown that you can fly wingtip to wingtip with your brothers. If ever there was doubt in anyone’s mind that women could become skilled pilots, the WASPs dispelled that doubt. I want to stress how valuable the whole WASP program has been for the country.

  2. The President:

    He happens to be Hispanic, but I've never quite figured it out because he looks more like a WASP than I do.

  3. Republican Sen. John Kennedy:

    He is mad as a mama wasp and he is determined to get the nominations through, and I don't think he's bluffing.

  4. Paul Rudd:

    I hope and think it provides a bit of a respite because it's a lot of fun... it's kind of a nice break from things, ant-Man and the Wasp.

  5. Evangeline Lilly:

    So that's what I ended up deciding. I just thought, ‘Well, I'm a smart lady. I can figure this out. I'm going to figure out a way to do this and be happy.’ And I am, I'm very happy, I've had a wonderful time promoting this movie, and I've had a wonderful time talking to people about things I care about because this movie brings up so many cool issues, ant-Man and The Wasp.

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Translations for wasp

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"wasp." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/wasp>.

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