any of numerous social or solitary hymenopterous insects of the Vespidae, Sphecidae, and allied families, generally having a long, slender body and narrow waist and, in the female, a stinger.
a person who is snappish or petulant.

before 900; Middle English waspe, Old English wæsp, metathetic variant of wæps, itself variant of wæfs, akin to Dutch wesp, German Wespe, Latin vespa

wasplike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To wasplike
World English Dictionary
wasp (wɒsp)
1.  potter wasp See also hornet any social hymenopterous insect of the family Vespidae, esp Vespula vulgaris (common wasp), typically having a black-and-yellow body and an ovipositor specialized for stingingRelated: vespine
2.  any of various solitary hymenopterans, such as the digger wasp and gall wasp
Related: vespine
[Old English wæsp; related to Old Saxon waspa, Old High German wefsa, Latin vespa]

Wasp or WASP (wɒsp)
n acronym for
White Anglo-Saxon Protestant: a person descended from N European, usually Protestant stock, forming a group often considered the most dominant, privileged, and influential in American society
n acronym for
'Waspy or WASP

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

O.E. wæps, wæsp, altered (probably by influence of L. vespa) from W.Gmc. *wabis- (cf. O.S. waspa, M.Du. wespe, Du. wesp, O.H.G. wafsa, Ger. Wespe, Dan. hveps), from PIE *wobhes-/*wops- (cf. L. vespa, Lith. vapsa, O.C.S. vosa "wasp," O.Ir. foich "drone"), perhaps from *webh- "weave" (cf. Gk.
hyphos "web," O.E. webb "web," O.N. vefa "to weave"). If that is the correct derivation, the insect would be so called for the shape of its nest. Waspish in the sense of "irascible, spiteful" is attested from 1566. Wasp-waist is recorded from 1870.

acronym for White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, 1962, said to have been coined by University of Pennsylvania sociologist E. Digby Baltzell, but first recorded reference is in an article by E.B. Palmore in "American Journal of Sociology."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

WASP definition

An acronym for “white Anglo-Saxon Protestant” — a member of what many consider to be the most privileged and influential group in American society.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
White Anglo-Saxon Protestant
World Association for Social Psychiatry
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Related Searches
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature