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[pis-mahyuh r, piz-] /ˈpɪsˌmaɪər, ˈpɪz-/
an ant.
1350-1400; Middle English pissemyre, equivalent to pisse to urinate + obsolete mire ant, perhaps < Scandinavian (compare Danish myre, Swedish myra), cognate with Dutch mier; pejorative name from stench of formic acid proper to ants Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for pismire
  • Apparently all humans are able to smell ants, and that there is a specific word for this smell: pismire.
British Dictionary definitions for pismire


an archaic or dialect word for an ant
Word Origin
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
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pismire
late 14c., from pyss "urine" (in reference to the acrid smell of an anthill) + mire "an ant," probably from O.N. maurr "ant," perhaps distantly connected with Gk. myrmex, L. formica "ant." Cf. pissant, also early Du. mierseycke (from seycke "urine"), Finn. kusiainen (from kusi "urine").
"He is as angry as a pissemyre,
Though þat he haue al that he kan desire."
Applied contemptuously to persons from 1560s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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