1 of 2

noun (1)

: any of numerous small acarid arachnids that often infest animals, plants, and stored foods and include important disease vectors


2 of 2

noun (2)

: a small coin or sum of money
: a very little : bit
: a very small object or creature
a mite
: somewhat, rather
could be that I am a mite prejudicedJohn Fischer

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Steadily, a mite awkwardly at first, the twin stories build. Los Angeles Times, 25 Jan. 2023 Paintings by Mondrian have seemed a mite wonky to my eye when hung on the curved walls along the slanting ramp of the Guggenheim Museum. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 26 Sep. 2022 The biggest scourge to bees is tiny—a mite the size of a pinhead that feeds on them and spreads deadly viruses. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, 4 June 2021 Although lowered, the driving position still feels a mite too high, and taller occupants might struggle for headroom. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 3 Sep. 2020 To get mite-resistant honeybees, Seeley says, beekeepers can capture a wild swarm by putting out bait hives in remote places, far from colonies kept by beekeepers. Marissa Hermanson, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Sep. 2022 The vicuñas had been decimated by a disease called sarcoptic mange, which is caused by a microscopic mite that burrows into an animal’s skin. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 7 Apr. 2022 Rose rosette virus, transmitted by a mite, was used as a biocontrol for troublesome wild hedges of Rosa multiflora in the Midwest. oregonlive, 27 Mar. 2022 Gene said an insect called the oak itch mite feeds on cicada eggs. Washington Post, 28 June 2021 See More

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

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English mīte; akin to Middle Dutch mite mite, small copper coin

Noun (2)

Middle English, from Middle French or Middle Dutch; Middle French, small Flemish copper coin, from Middle Dutch

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of mite was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near mite

Cite this Entry

“Mite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: any of various invertebrates that are tiny arachnids closely related to the ticks, that often live on plants, animals, and stored foods, and that include important carriers of disease
: a very small coin or sum of money
: a very little amount : bit
: a very small object or creature

Medical Definition


: any of numerous small to very minute arachnids of the order Acari that have a body without a constriction between the cephalothorax and abdomen, mandibles generally chelate or adapted for piercing, usually four pairs of short legs in the adult and but three in the young larvae, and often breathing organs in the form of tracheae and that include parasites of insects and vertebrates some of which are important disease vectors, parasites of plants in which they frequently cause gall formation, pests of various stored products, and completely innocuous free-living aquatic and terrestrial forms see itch mite

More from Merriam-Webster on mite

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Challenging Standardized Test Words, Vol. 2

  • a pencil broken in half on top of a test answer sheet
  • The business’s new computer system proved not to be a panacea.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?