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Definition of termite
- a small, pale soft-bodied insect that lives in large colonies with several different castes, typically within a mound of cemented earth. Many kinds feed on wood and can be highly destructive to trees and timber. Also called white ant.
- Order Isoptera: several families
late 18th century: from late Latin termes, termit- 'woodworm', alteration of Latin tarmes, perhaps by association with terere 'to rub'