noun \ˈmīt\

Definition of MITE

:  any of numerous small acarid arachnids that often infest animals, plants, and stored foods and include important disease vectors

Origin of MITE

Middle English, from Old English mīte; akin to Middle Dutch mite mite, small copper coin
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Insect Terms

drone, entomology, gadfly, pismire, proboscis, vespine



Definition of MITE

:  a small coin or sum of money
a :  a very little :  bit
b :  a very small object or creature
a mite
:  somewhat, rather <could be that I am a mite prejudiced — John Fischer>

Origin of MITE

Middle English, from Middle French or Middle Dutch; Middle French, small Flemish copper coin, from Middle Dutch
First Known Use: 14th century


noun \ˈmīt\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of MITE

: any of numerous small to very minute arachnids of the order Acari that have a body without a constriction between the cephalothorax and abdomen, mandibles generally chelate or adapted for piercing, usually four pairs of short legs in the adult and but three in the young larvae, and often breathing organs in the form of tracheae and that include parasites of insects and vertebrates some of which are important disease vectors, parasites of plants in which they frequently cause gall formation, pests of various stored products, and completely innocuous free-living aquatic and terrestrial forms—see itch mite


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Red velvet mite (Dinothrombium; magnified about five times)—Anthony Bannister—The Natural History Photographic Agency/EB Inc.

Any of about 20,000 species of tiny arachnids (subclass Acari, sometimes Acarina or Acarida). Species range from microscopic to 0.25 in. (6 mm) long. Mites live in water and soil, on plants, and as plant and animal parasites. Both parasitic and nonparasitic forms transmit plant and animal diseases. Itch mites (family Sarcoptidae), which burrow into the skin of humans and animals, cause the highly contagious disease scabies. A few species transmit tapeworms to cattle. Grain mites (family Glycyphagidae) damage stored products and irritate the skin of those who handle the products. House dust allergy is caused by species of the common genus Dermatophagoides. See also chigger.


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