Definition of parasite
1 : a person who exploits the hospitality of the rich and earns welcome by flattery sought to rid the palace of the parasites of his prosperity
2 : an organism living in, with, or on another organism in parasitism an intestinal parasite of humans a parasite that causes malaria
3 : something that resembles a biological parasite in dependence on something else for existence or support without making a useful or adequate return That city has become a parasite on the country.
Examples of parasite in a Sentence
Many diseases are caused by parasites.
She's a parasite who only stays with him for the money.
These new companies are parasites feeding off the success of those who spent the last decade establishing the industry.
Recent Examples of parasite from the Web
At that point, the only way to defeat the lice is to find a completely novel approach, one that the parasites are not preadapted to fending off.
A cunning parasite worms its way into people's brains, inducing hallucinations and sending them into New York City's streets in search of new victims.
The doctors concluded the parasite had inflamed the eye muscles and the treatment had eased the inflammation—and with it, the cross eyes.
Along with pathogens found in sewage — including bacteria such as E. coli, vibrio and salmonella — there are viruses and intestinal parasites that can cause everything from diarrhea to meningitis to respiratory infections.
Parasites, diseases, poor nutrition, and pesticides among many others.
And, naturally, there are lesser parasites dining on what the buzzard leaves behind.
However, if your partner has any bowel issues — IBS, parasites, or stomach pain — don’t risk it.
And what greater brain parasite in all of art than suave, smooth Aylmer from Frank Henenlotter’s cult classic, Brain Damage?
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'parasite'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of parasite
Middle French, from Latin parasitus, from Greek parasitos, from para- + sitos grain, food
First Known Use: 1539
Synonym Discussion of parasite
PARASITE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of parasite for English Language Learners
: an animal or plant that lives in or on another animal or plant and gets food or protection from it
: a person or thing that takes something from someone or something else and does not do anything to earn it or deserve it
PARASITE Defined for Kids
Definition of parasite for Students
1 : a living thing (as a flea, worm, or fungus) that lives in or on another living thing and gets food and sometimes shelter from it and usually causes harm to it
2 : a person who lives at the expense of another
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