pe·​dic·​u·​lous pi-ˈdi-kyə-ləs How to pronounce pediculous (audio)
: infested with lice : lousy

Did you know?

Count on the English language's Latin lexical options to pretty up the unpleasant. You can have an entire conversation about lice and avoid the l-word entirely using pediculous and its relatives. None of the words (from pediculus, meaning "louse") is remotely common, but they're all available to you should you feel the need for them. There's pediculosis, meaning "infestation with lice," pedicular, "of or relating to lice," and pediculoid, "resembling or related to the common lice." Pediculid names a particular kind of louse—one of the family Pediculidae. And if you'd like to put an end to all of this you might require a pediculicide—defined as "an agent for destroying lice."

Word History


Latin pediculosus, from pediculus

First Known Use

circa 1540, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pediculous was circa 1540


Dictionary Entries Near pediculous

Cite this Entry

“Pediculous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


pe·​dic·​u·​lous pi-ˈdik-yə-ləs How to pronounce pediculous (audio)
: infested with lice : lousy
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