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

Other Words from ectoparasite

ectoparasitic \ ˌek-​tō-​ˌper-​ə-​ˈsi-​tik How to pronounce ectoparasite (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, 10 Dec. 2019 Mature sea lice are gray, lentil-sized crustaceans, also called ectoparasites, that look like small, fanged tadpoles. Amanda Little, WIRED, 23 May 2018 All the cats had irritated, painful ears consistent with a contagious ectoparasite, the document stated. Jennifer Stockinger, Twin Cities, 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.

First Known Use of ectoparasite

1861, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ectoparasite

International Scientific Vocabulary

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The first known use of ectoparasite was in 1861

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Cite this Entry

“Ectoparasite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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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 ectoparasite (audio) \ adjective


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