See also: Emmet



From Middle English emete, from Old English ǣmete, (bef. 12c) Doublet of ant.



emmet (plural emmets)

  1. (dialectal or archaic) An ant.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970:
      , 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 []
    • 1666, Dr. Edmund King, Philosophical Transactions (1665-1678) Observations Concerning Emmets or Ants, Their Eggs, Production, Progress, Coming to Maturity, Use, &c
    • before 1729, Edward Taylor, "Meditation. Joh. 14.2. I go to prepare a place for you":
      What shall a Mote up to a Monarch rise?
      An Emmet match an Emperor in might?
    • 1789, William Blake, “A Dream”, in Songs of Innocence:
      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. (Cornwall, derogatory) A tourist.

See alsoEdit





  1. partitive singular of emme