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 (pĭs′mīr′, pĭz′-)
Archaic An ant.

[Middle English pissemyre : pisse, urine (from the smell of the formic acid that ants secrete); see piss + mire, ant (probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Danish myre).]


(Animals) an archaic or dialect word for an ant
[C14 (literally: urinating ant, from the odour of formic acid characteristic of an ant hill): from piss + obsolete mire ant, of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse maurr, Middle Low German mīre ant]


(ˈpɪsˌmaɪər, ˈpɪz-)

an ant.
[1350–1400; Middle English pissemyre=pisse(n) to urinate + myre ant, perhaps < Scandinavian (compare Dan myre, Swedish myra), c. Dutch mier; from stench of formic acid proper to ants]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.pismire - social insect living in organized coloniespismire - social insect living in organized colonies; characteristically the males and fertile queen have wings during breeding season; wingless sterile females are the workers
hymenopter, hymenopteran, hymenopteron, hymenopterous insect - insects having two pairs of membranous wings and an ovipositor specialized for stinging or piercing
Monomorium pharaonis, pharaoh ant, pharaoh's ant - small red ant of warm regions; a common household pest
little black ant, Monomorium minimum - tiny glossy black ant; nests outdoors but invades houses for food
army ant, driver ant, legionary ant - tropical nomadic ant that preys mainly on other insects
carpenter ant - ant that nests in decaying wood in which it bores tunnels for depositing eggs
fire ant - omnivorous ant of tropical and subtropical America that can inflict a painful sting
Formica rufa, wood ant - reddish-brown European ant typically living in anthills in woodlands
slave ant - any of various ants captured as larvae and enslaved by another species
slave-maker, slave-making ant - an ant that attacks colonies of other ant species and carries off the young to be reared as slave ants
bulldog ant - any of the large fierce Australian ants of the genus Myrmecia
References in classic literature ?
It is a very pleasant picture to imagine Antaeus standing among the Pygmies, like the spire of the tallest cathedral that ever was built, while they ran about like pismires at his feet; and to think that, in spite of their difference in size, there were affection and sympathy between them and him
When I suggested on my blog that Shakespeare had never used the word, I received an e-mail with this quote: "I am whipp'd and scourged with blogs,/Nettled and stung with pismires.
As in Ted Hughes's poetry, Heaney offers a zoological array of otters, skunks, oysters, dogs, pismires, badgers, cuckoos, corncrakes, and other species.