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infest

Line breaks: in¦fest
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈfɛst
 
/

Definition of infest in English:

verb

[with object]
(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.
Synonyms
overrun, spread through, take over, overspread, swarm over, crawl over, run riot over;
invade, penetrate, infiltrate, pervade, permeate, inundate, overwhelm;
beset, pester, plague
rare vermined

Origin

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.

More
  • 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.

Derivatives

infestation

1
Pronunciation: /-ˈsteɪʃ(ə)n/
noun
Example sentences
  • Campaigners warn that Britain's streets could be plagued by vermin infestations if people continue to dump their rubbish irresponsibly.
  • Movies about the end of the world or uncontrollable plagues and infestations are huge box office successes.
  • Indeed, worm infestations, lice and a variety of other health problems plague the residents of the water villages.

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