pe·​dic·​u·​lous | \ pi-ˈdi-kyə-ləs How to pronounce pediculous (audio) \

Definition of pediculous

: 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 - most of them are so uncommon that they appear only in our Unabridged dictionary - but they're all available to you should you feel the need for them. There's pediculosis, meaning "infestation with lice;" pedicular, meaning "of or relating to lice;" and pediculoid, meaning "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."

First Known Use of pediculous

circa 1540, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pediculous

Latin pediculosus, from pediculus

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The first known use of pediculous was circa 1540

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Cite this Entry

“Pediculous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for pediculous


pe·​dic·​u·​lous | \ pi-ˈdik-yə-ləs How to pronounce pediculous (audio) \

Medical Definition of pediculous

: infested with lice : lousy


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