1

louse

play
noun \ ˈlau̇s \

Definition of louse

1 plural lice play \ˈlīs\
a :any of various small wingless usually flattened insects (orders Anoplura and Mallophaga) parasitic (see parasite 2) on warm-blooded animals
b :a small usually sluggish arthropod (such as a biting louse) that lives on other animals or on plants and sucks their blood or juices
c :any of several small arthropods (such as a book louse) that are not parasitic
2 plural louses play \ˈlau̇-səz\ :a contemptible person :heel
  • what a beast, what a cad, what a louse he had been
  • —Walter Karig

Examples of louse in a Sentence

  1. a problem with head lice

  2. Her ex-husband is a real louse.

Recent Examples of louse from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of louse

Middle English lous, from Old English lūs; akin to Old High German lūs louse, Welsh llau lice

louse Synonyms

Synonyms
bastard, beast, bleeder [British], blighter [chiefly British], boor, bounder, bugger, buzzard, cad, chuff, churl, clown, creep, cretin, crud [slang], crumb [slang], cur, dirtbag [slang], dog, fink, heel, hound, joker, jerk, lout, pill, rat, rat fink, reptile, rotter, schmuck [slang], scum, scumbag [slang], scuzzball [slang], skunk, sleaze, sleazebag [slang], sleazeball [slang], slime, slimeball [slang], slob, snake, so-and-so, sod [chiefly British], stinkard, stinker, swine, toad, varmint, vermin
Related Words
barbarian, brute, caveman, Neanderthal, savage; loudmouth, vulgarian; lowlife, miscreant, rascal, rogue, roughneck, scab, scamp, scoundrel, villain, wretch; booby, doofus [slang], fool, jackass, nincompoop, ninny, nit [chiefly British], nitwit, nut, schmo (or schmoe) [slang]; airhead, birdbrain, blockhead, dink [slang], dolt, dope, dork [slang], goon, half-wit, idiot, imbecile, moron, turkey; brat, insolent, nuisance, pest, snip; snob, snoot, snot; dweeb [slang], nerd
Near Antonyms
hero, heroine, idol, role model; gentleman, lady; angel, saint

Other Invertebrates (Except Insects) Terms


2

louse

play
verb \ ˈlau̇s , ˈlau̇z \

Definition of louse

loused; lousing
transitive verb
:to remove lice from

Origin and Etymology of louse

see 1louse

Other Insect Terms


LOUSE Defined for English Language Learners

louse

play
noun

Definition of louse for English Language Learners

  • : a type of small insect that lives on the bodies of people or animals

  • : a bad or cruel person


LOUSE Defined for Kids

louse

play
noun \ ˈlau̇s \

Definition of louse for Students

plural lice \ˈlīs\
1 :a small, wingless, and usually flat insect that lives on the bodies of warm-blooded animals
2 :an insect or related arthropod that resembles a body louse and feeds on plant juices or decaying matter

Medical Dictionary

louse

play
noun \ ˈlau̇s \

medical Definition of louse

plural lice play \ˈlīs\
:any of the small wingless usually flattened insects that are parasitic on warm-blooded animals and constitute the orders Anoplura and Mallophaga


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