Etymology
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formicant (adj.)
"crawling like an ant," 1707, from Latin formicantem (nominative formicans), present participle of formicare (see formication).
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coolant (n.)

"radiator fluid," 1915, from cool (adj.) + -ant.

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termite (n.)
1849, back-formation from plural form termites (1781), from Modern Latin termites (three syllables), plural of termes (genitive termitis), a special use of Late Latin termes "woodworm, white ant," altered (by influence of Latin terere "to rub, wear, erode") from earlier Latin tarmes. Their nest is a terminarium (1863). Earlier in English known as wood ant or white ant.
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pollutant (n.)

polluting agent or medium," "1888, from pollute + -ant. Related: Pollutants.

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reactant (n.)

"a reacting thing," 1901, from react + -ant. As an adjective by 1911. Related: Reactance (1893).

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protectant (adj.)

1660s, "protective, protecting (something) against disease," irregularly formed from protect + -ant. As a noun, "a protective substance or agent," from 1935.

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pismire (n.)

"ant," late 14c., pisse-mire (early 14c. as a surname, Henricus pessemere), from pyss "urine" (said to be in reference to the acrid smell of an anthill) + mire "an ant" (mid-13c., early 13c. as a surname), perhaps from an unattested Old English word or from Old Norse maurr "ant" (cognate with Swedish myra, Danish myre, Middle Dutch miere, Dutch mier, Crimean Gothic miera "ant"), from PIE *morwi- (see Formica (2)). Compare pissant, also Old Frisian pis-imme, Norwegian migemaur (first element from Latin mingere); early Dutch mierseycke (with seycke "urine"), Finnish kusiainen (with kusi "urine").

He is as angry as a pissemyre,
Though þat he haue al that he kan desire.
[Chaucer]

Applied contemptuously to persons from 1560s.

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defoliant (n.)

"chemical used to defoliate," 1943; see defoliate + -ant. Defoliator (1875) was used of insects which destroy the leaves of trees.

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pissant (n.)

1660s, "an ant," from first element of pismire (q.v.) + ant. Meaning "contemptible, insignificant person" is from 1903.

[B]y sun-down [the gals] come pourin out of the woods like pissants out of an old log when tother end's afire. ["Dick Harlan's Tennessee Frolic," in collection "A Quarter Race in Kentucky," Philadelphia, 1846]
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-ent 

word-forming element making adjectives from nouns or verbs, from French -ent and directly from Latin -entem (nominative -ens), present-participle ending of verbs in -ere/-ire. Old French changed it in many words to -ant, but after c. 1500 some of these in English were changed back to what was supposed to be correct Latin. See -ant.

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