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See also: Emmet and em mệt




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



emmet (plural emmets)

  1. (dialectal or archaic) An ant.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069:, 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 []
    • 1789, William Blake, Songs of Innocence, A Dream:
      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, pejorative) A tourist.

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