Definition of parasite in English:

parasite

Line breaks: para|site
Pronunciation: /ˈparəsʌɪt
 
/

noun

  • 1An organism which lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense: the parasite attaches itself to the mouths of fishes an intestinal parasite of cattle
    More example sentences
    • These genes are essentially immune system genes and defend the host organism from parasites.
    • After all, more than half the species on Earth are parasites, and most organisms are host to a number of them.
    • Some water molds are parasites on other organisms; they may grow on the scales or eggs of fish, or on amphibians.
  • Parasites exist in huge variety and include animals, plants, and micro-organisms. They may live as ectoparasites on the surface of the host (e.g. arthropods such as ticks, mites, lice, fleas, and many insects infesting plants) or as endoparasites in the gut or tissues (e.g. many kinds of worm), and cause varying degrees of damage or disease to the host

Origin

mid 16th century: via Latin from Greek parasitos '(person) eating at another's table', from para- 'alongside' + sitos 'food'.

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