- 1 (plural lice /lʌɪs/) Either of two small wingless parasitic insects that live on the skin of mammals and birds:
More example sentences
- ● (sucking louse) an insect with piercing mouthparts, found only on mammals (order Anoplura or Siphunculata). See also body louse, head louse ● (biting louse) an insect with a large head and jaws, found chiefly on birds (order Mallophaga).
- Head lice are insects living on the human scalp and feeding on blood.
- Head lice are insects that live on the scalp and neck.
- Presumably mineral oil is acting like petroleum jelly to smother the live lice and loosen nits.
- 1.1Used in names of small invertebrates that parasitize aquatic animals or infest plants, e.g. fish louse.More example sentences
- Sea spiders and sea lice have a cavity of body fluid as salty as the sea itself.
- They are also hosts to a number of blood parasites and feather lice.
- Sea trout numbers collapsed in 1989 with many sea trout caught in the net heavily infested with sea lice.
- 2 (plural louses) • informal A contemptible or unpleasant person.More example sentences
- Since his original plan of using leftover roach motels now seems impractical, Jack must devise a better means of sending these unlicensed louses back to where they belong.
- His characters were cads, letches, and leering louses, but they effectively tapped a bit of that inappropriate urge in us all.
- All of these characters - if we can indeed call them that - are despicable louses that lie, cheat, and backstab each other in the name of comedy and TV ratings.
verb[with object] Back to top
- 1 (louse something up) • informal Spoil or ruin something: he loused up my promotion chancesMore example sentences
- Your summer has been a colossal mess, but other folks have been lousing things up, too.
- Rebecca has an unerring ear for the ways mismatched people relate, an open heart for the ways they louse things up.
- They then took this cleaner to their design team who loused it up for probably for more money!
- 2 • archaic Remove lice from.More example sentences
- They were lousing each other; and it surprised us that they did not discontinue their work + as we entered.
- When the girl and the lion first appear in the tale we are told that she is lousing him, which illustrates the bond between them.
- The grandmother began lousing him again and soon he was asleep and snoring loud enough to rattle the windows.
Old English lūs, (plural) lȳs, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch luis, German Laus.