intermediate host

noun

1
: a host which is normally used by a parasite in the course of its life cycle and in which it may multiply asexually but not sexually compare definitive host
2

Examples of intermediate host in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hendra virus, in Australia, comes to humans from bats, generally through an intermediate host: horses. David Quammen, New York Times, 25 July 2023 These eggs are then thought to be consumed by small, ubiquitous aquatic crustaceans known as copepods, the worm’s first intermediate host. Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 25 Oct. 2015 These animals could have also possibly acted as an intermediate host of the virus, which scientists believe likely originated in wild bats, but they have not yet been shown to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, 12 Apr. 2023 But the civets proved to be intermediate hosts, and its natural host was later identified as horseshoe bats. David Quammen, New York Times, 25 July 2023 Scientists conjecture that pangolins—widely considered a delicacy in China—may be the intermediate host to pass the novel virus to humans. Yanzhong Huang, Foreign Affairs, 5 Mar. 2020 Masked palm civets were found to be an intermediate host of the SARS virus that caused an epidemic in 2002–2003. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, 12 Apr. 2023 Although the sequences showed that the animal could have been an intermediate host and that the market amplified the spread of the virus, the data did not show that people who interacted with those animals got sick through that exposure. Jen Christensen, CNN, 6 Apr. 2023 In a spillover scenario, the virus could have leap-frogged to humans from its reservoir in bats via raccoon dogs, which would be considered an intermediate host. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 17 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1878, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of intermediate host was in 1878

Dictionary Entries Near intermediate host

Cite this Entry

“Intermediate host.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intermediate%20host. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

intermediate host

noun
: a host that is normally used by a parasite in the course of its life cycle and that may actively carry it from one living thing to another

Medical Definition

intermediate host

noun
1
: a host which is normally used by a parasite in the course of its life cycle and in which it may multiply asexually but not sexually compare definitive host
2

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