any of numerous black, red, brown, or yellow social insects of the family Formicidae, of worldwide distribution esp. in warm climates, having a large head with inner jaws for chewing and outer jaws for carrying and digging, and living in highly organized colonies containing wingless female workers, a winged queen, and, during breeding seasons, winged males, some species being noted for engaging in warfare, slavemaking, or the cultivation of food sources.
a suffix forming adjectives and nouns from verbs, occurring originally in French and Latin loanwords (pleasant; constant; servant) and productive in English on this model;has the general sense “characterized by or serving in the capacity of ” that named by the stem (ascendant; pretendant), esp. in the formation of nouns denoting human agents in legal actions or other formal procedures (tenant; defendant; applicant; contestant). In technical and commercial coinages,is a suffix of nouns denoting impersonal physical agents (propellant; lubricant; deodorant). In general,can be added only to bases of Latin origin, with a very few exceptions, as coolant. See also