Definition of parasite noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpærəsaɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpærəsaɪt//
    Ailments and diseases
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  1. 1a small animal or plant that lives on or inside another animal or plant and gets its food from it fleas, lice and other parasites an intestinal parasite of cattle See related entries: Ailments and diseases
  2. 2(disapproving) a person who always relies on or benefits from other people and gives nothing back He regards students as parasites on society.
  3. Word Originmid 16th cent.: via Latin from Greek parasitos ‘(person) eating at another's table’, from para- ‘alongside’ + sitos ‘food’.Extra examples These flies carry a dangerous parasite. Your contaminated fingers can transmit the parasite to many surfaces. the most common intestinal parasite found in humans the parasite that causes malaria
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: parasite