parasitic

adjective
par·​a·​sit·​ic | \ ˌper-ə-ˈsi-tik How to pronounce parasitic (audio) , ˌpa-rə-\
variants: or less commonly parasitical \ ˌper-​ə-​ˈsi-​ti-​kəl How to pronounce parasitical (audio) , ˌpa-​rə-​ \

Definition of parasitic

1 : of, relating to, or being a parasite: such as
a(1) : living on another organism in parasitism Some caterpillars even sport white spots that resemble the eggs of the parasitic wasps that prey upon caterpillars …— Mary Parker Sonis a parasitic yeast/plant Filariasis, caused by parasitic worms in the human lymphatic system and carried in mosquitoes, infects some eighty million people in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.— Wayne Biddle
(2) : caused by or resulting from the effects of parasites a parasitic disease/infection
(3) of a bird : laying eggs in the nest of another bird The cowbird and the cuckoo are parasitic birds.
b : exploiting the hospitality of others : depending on another or others for existence or support without making a useful or adequate return … manipulated and glorified by self-serving, parasitic northern bureaucrats.— Edward Friedman
2 phonetics : of, relating to, or constituting a speech sound that is interposed between two other sounds usually as a by-product of transition from one place of articulation to another The \ə\ in \ˈeləm\ for elm or in \ˈathəˌlēt\ for athlete, the \t\ in \fents\ for fence, and the \b\ and b in \ˈnimbəl\ nimble from Middle English nimel are parasitic.

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Other Words from parasitic

parasitically \ ˌper-​ə-​ˈsi-​ti-​kəl How to pronounce parasitically (audio) , ˌpa-​rə-​ \ adverb
During sexually quiescent phase, lampreys live simply, communally or parasitically upon other fish. — Earl W. Count … those who live parasitically on the political system … — John Derbyshire

Examples of parasitic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Vyera Pharmaceuticals, formerly known as Turing Pharmaceuticals, had brazenly maintained Shkreli’s despised price hike of the drug Daraprim, which treats relatively rare parasitic infections that often strike babies and HIV/AIDS patients. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "The 5,000% price hike that made Martin Shkreli infamous is no longer paying off," 19 July 2018 Dense forests put trees at greater risk for parasitic infection and enable fires to spread faster. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "California’s Paradise Lost," 12 Nov. 2018 Acute diarrhea can last anywhere from a few days to two weeks and is usually due to a bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection, according to the Mayo Clinic. Korin Miller, SELF, "Here’s When to See a Doctor About Diarrhea and When to Wait for It to Pass," 17 July 2018 Over time, Eddie and Venom work out a begrudging respect, which of course neatly sets up a possible sequel where audiences might be able to enjoy Venom’s antics without having to feel bad about rooting for an evil parasitic space monster. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Venom is a bizarre and baffling mess," 3 Oct. 2018 This causes him to develop an Obscurus, a parasitic dark force that bursts out of him, killing his abusive adopted mother and wreaking havoc on NYC. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "This Link Between “Harry Potter” and “Fantastic Beasts” Will Seriously Blow Your Mind," 23 Aug. 2018 The plant responds to the parasitic worms with swelling, distorted growth, and dead areas. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "What Are Nematodes? These Tiny Parasites Can Help — Or Hurt — Your Garden," 1 July 2018 According to the report, the patient fully recovered and was cured after the surgical removal of the parasitic worm. Marci Robin, Allure, "Woman Discovers the Moving Bump Below Her Skin Is Actually a Parasitic Worm," 22 June 2018 The small lab in Berkeley got involved with this complicated worm conundrum through a parasitic disease expert at the National Institutes of Health. Brian Rinker, CNN, "New tech revolutionizes fight against ancient diseases in Africa, Asia," 17 Apr. 2018

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

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First Known Use of parasitic

1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for parasitic

The first known use of parasitic was in 1630

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More Definitions for parasitic

parasitic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of parasitic

of an animal or plant : living in or on another animal or plant and getting food or protection from it
: caused by a parasite
disapproving : getting food, money, etc., from other people without doing anything to earn it or deserve it

parasitic

adjective
par·​a·​sit·​ic | \ ˌper-ə-ˈsi-tik\

Kids Definition of parasitic

: relating to or having the habit of a parasite : caused by parasites a parasitic worm parasitic diseases

parasitic

adjective
par·​a·​sit·​ic | \ ˌpar-ə-ˈsit-ik How to pronounce parasitic (audio) \
variants: also parasitical \ -​i-​kəl How to pronounce parasitical (audio) \

Medical Definition of parasitic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : relating to or having the habit of a parasite : living on another organism
2 : caused by or resulting from the effects of parasites

Other Words from parasitic

parasitically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce parasitically (audio) \ adverb

parasitic

noun

Medical Definition of parasitic (Entry 2 of 2)

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More from Merriam-Webster on parasitic

Spanish Central: Translation of parasitic

Nglish: Translation of parasitic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of parasitic for Arabic Speakers

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