par·​a·​sit·​ize | \ ˈper-ə-sə-ˌtiz How to pronounce parasitize (audio) , -ˌsī-, ˈpa-rə-\
parasitized; parasitizing

Definition of parasitize

transitive verb

: to infest or live on or with as a parasite

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Other Words from parasitize

parasitization \ ˌper-​ə-​sə-​tə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce parasitization (audio) , -​ˌsī-​ , ˌpa-​rə-​ \ noun

Examples of parasitize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The wasps parasitize the borers’ eggs to reduce the borer population, Teerling said. Alyssa Lukpat,, "Maine Forest Service releasing wasps to kill invasive forest beetles," 17 July 2019 Many other wasp species also use complex venoms to parasitize spiders, caterpillars and even wasp larvae—sometimes turning them into zombie larva defenders. Christie Wilcox, Scientific American, "How a Wasp Turns Cockroaches into Zombies," 1 May 2017 There are two other species of Thelazia worms that infect humans, and Beckley’s infection represents a third species now known to parasitize humans. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Woman Infected by Parasitic Cattle Eye Worm," 14 Feb. 2018 In some cases, multiple wasp species parasitize one another, leading to a Russian doll of parasitic interactions. Christie Wilcox, Scientific American, "How a Wasp Turns Cockroaches into Zombies," 1 May 2017 Worm-snails can also carry certain blood flukes that parasitize loggerhead sea turtles, which are vulnerable to extinction. National Geographic, "New Slime-Shooting Snail Found On Shipwreck," 5 Apr. 2017 Scientists think the genet gets access to insects that are stirred up by the larger animals or which parasitize them. Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic, "Dolphins on Whales, and Other Animals Riding Animals," 2 Sep. 2016 Why doesn’t the mussel just release its young into the water column, like any number of other freshwater mussels (whose larvae also find fish to parasitize, only by floating around willy-nilly)? Matt Simon, WIRED, "Absurd Creature of the Week: This Mussel Does an Incredible Impression of a Fish," 16 Oct. 2015 Of the 2,500 species of fleas known to science, 94 percent of them parasitize mammals, and the rest make a living on birds. Photograph Courtesy Michael Hastriter, National Geographic, "Fleas Hitch Ride on Earwigs to Suck Bat Blood," 5 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'parasitize.' 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 parasitize

1872, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for parasitize

Last Updated

29 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for parasitize

The first known use of parasitize was in 1872

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More Definitions for parasitize


transitive verb
variants: also British parasitise \ -​sə-​ˌtīz How to pronounce parasitise (audio) , -​ˌsīt-​ˌīz How to pronounce parasitise (audio) \
parasitized also British parasitised; parasitizing also British parasitising

Medical Definition of parasitize

: to infest or live on or with as a parasite

Other Words from parasitize

parasitization also British parasitisation \ ˌpar-​ə-​sət-​ə-​ˈzā-​shən, -​ˌsīt-​ How to pronounce parasitisation (audio) \ noun

Comments on parasitize

What made you want to look up parasitize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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