ec·​to·​par·​a·​site | \ ˌek-tō-ˈper-ə-ˌsīt How to pronounce ectoparasite (audio) , -ˈpa-rə- \

Definition of ectoparasite

: a parasite that lives on the exterior of its host

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ectoparasite

ectoparasitic \ ˌek-​tō-​ˌper-​ə-​ˈsi-​tik How to pronounce ectoparasitic (audio) , -​ˌpa-​rə-​ \ adjective

Examples of ectoparasite in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Studying the ancestors of living ectoparasites, which live on the outside of their hosts, can help scientists understand how these pests evolved over millions of years into the species that live among and on us today. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian, "Lice-Filled Dinosaur Feathers Found Trapped in 100-Million-Year-Old Amber," 10 Dec. 2019 Mature sea lice are gray, lentil-sized crustaceans, also called ectoparasites, that look like small, fanged tadpoles. Amanda Little, WIRED, "The Laser Battle Against Blood-Sucking Parasites of the Deep," 23 May 2018 All the cats had irritated, painful ears consistent with a contagious ectoparasite, the document stated. Jennifer Stockinger, Twin Cities, "MN home condemned, woman charged after 30 sick, flea-ridden cats found," 23 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ectoparasite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ectoparasite

1861, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ectoparasite

International Scientific Vocabulary

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ectoparasite

Time Traveler for ectoparasite

Time Traveler

The first known use of ectoparasite was in 1861

See more words from the same year

Statistics for ectoparasite

Cite this Entry

“Ectoparasite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ectoparasite


ec·​to·​par·​a·​site | \ ˌek-tō-ˈpar-ə-ˌsīt How to pronounce ectoparasite (audio) \

Medical Definition of ectoparasite

: a parasite that lives on the exterior of its host — compare endoparasite

Other Words from ectoparasite

ectoparasitic \ -​ˌpar-​ə-​ˈsit-​ik How to pronounce ectoparasitic (audio) \ adjective

Comments on ectoparasite

What made you want to look up ectoparasite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!