infest

verb

in·​fest in-ˈfest How to pronounce infest (audio)
infested; infesting; infests

transitive verb

1
: to spread or swarm in or over in a troublesome manner
a slum infested with crime
shark-infested waters
2
: to live in or on as a parasite
infestant noun
infestation noun
infester noun

Examples of infest in a Sentence

in desperation, we called in an exterminator because the house was infested with ants
Recent Examples on the Web With the news in recent weeks that the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza was infested with terrorism, another United Nations failure was swept under the rug. Anne Lord, National Review, 21 Feb. 2024 Agriculture specialists have found handicrafts, grain, and fruits potentially infested with invasive insects. Marisa Garcia, Forbes, 18 Feb. 2024 The woman’s house was covered in urine and was infested with cockroaches and other bugs, officials said. Paloma Chavez, Sacramento Bee, 15 Feb. 2024 Glossy black dots of frass tend to be found in association with stippling damage on plants infested with thrips. Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 1 Feb. 2024 If the library’s got bugs, and death beetles infested it in the 1970s, well, the stacks can turn into freezers. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 8 Feb. 2024 Looking down on his realm — a city infested by corruption scandals multiplying like mold spores — Carollo embraced the applause. Linda Robertson, Miami Herald, 20 Dec. 2023 The algae has infested about 10 acres of the lake, resident Bob Watson told the station. Joe Marusak, Charlotte Observer, 27 Jan. 2024 First described on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius in the 18th century, the insects have since been ferried around the world by human ships, becoming infamous for infesting ceilings and excavating tile floors. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 25 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'infest.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

French infester, from Latin infestare, from infestus hostile

First Known Use

1602, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of infest was in 1602

Dictionary Entries Near infest

Cite this Entry

“Infest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/infest. Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

infest

verb
in·​fest in-ˈfest How to pronounce infest (audio)
1
: to spread or swarm in or over in a troublesome manner
a neighborhood infested with crime
shark-infested waters
2
: to live in or on as a parasite
horses infested with worms
infestation noun

Medical Definition

infest

transitive verb
in·​fest in-ˈfest How to pronounce infest (audio)
: to live in or on as a parasite
the flea that infests cats
horses infested with worms
compare infect

More from Merriam-Webster on infest

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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