Definition of infest in English:

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Pronunciation: /inˈfest/


[with object] (usually be infested)
(Of insects or animals) be present (in a place or site) in large numbers, typically so as to cause damage or disease: the house is infested with cockroaches [as adjective, in combination]: (-infested) shark-infested waters
More example sentences
  • Fleas infest the animal (rats, but other rodents as well), and these fleas move freely over to human hosts.
  • His McGill ghetto apartment is infested with mice and, try as he might, he can't seem to get rid of them.
  • The species was believed to have been wiped out in 1918 when rats infested their home island.
overrun, spread through, invade, infiltrate, pervade, permeate, inundate, overwhelm;
beset, plague, swarm
overrun, swarming, teeming, crawling, alive, ridden, lousy;
plagued, beset


Late Middle English (in the sense 'torment, harass'): from French infester or Latin infestare 'assail', from infestus 'hostile'. The current sense dates from the mid 16th century.

  • This has the sense ‘torment, harass’ in early examples. It goes back to Latin infestare ‘assail’, from infestus ‘hostile’. The current sense ‘trouble in large numbers’ dates from the mid 16th century.

Words that rhyme with infest

abreast, arrest, attest, beau geste, behest, bequest, best, blessed, blest, breast, Brest, Bucharest, Budapest, celeste, chest, contest, crest, digest, divest, guest, hest, ingest, jest, lest, Midwest, molest, nest, northwest, pest, prestressed, protest, quest, rest, self-addressed, self-confessed, self-possessed, southwest, suggest, test, Trieste, unaddressed, unexpressed, unimpressed, unpressed, unstressed, vest, west, wrest, zest

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·fest

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