See also: parasité

English

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Etymology

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From Middle French parasite, from Latin parasitus, from Ancient Greek παράσιτος (parásitos, person who eats at the table of another), from noun use of adjective meaning "feeding beside", from παρά (pará, beside) + σῖτος (sîtos, food).

Pronunciation

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Noun

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parasite (plural parasites)

  1. (derogatory) A person who lives on other people's efforts or expense and gives little or nothing back. [from 16th c.]
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:scrounger
    • 2021 December 1, monamu98, “Thai and Korean netizens oppose debut of H1-Key's Sitala over father's alleged support of dictatorship”, in sportskeeda.com[1], sportskeeda, retrieved 2021-12-03:
      A royalist who publicly called for a military intervention to protect the parasite monarchy.
    • 1902, Hilaire Belloc, The Path to Rome:
      Of all the corrupting effects of wealth there is none worse than this, that it makes the wealthy (and their parasites) think in some way divine, or at least a lovely character of the mind, what is in truth nothing but their power of luxurious living.
  2. (derogatory) A sycophant or hanger-on.
  3. (biology) An organism that lives on or in another organism of a different species, deriving benefit from living on or in that other organism, while not contributing towards that other organism sufficiently to cover the cost to that other organism.
    Lice, fleas, ticks, and mites are widely spread parasites.
    • 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter XIX, in Francesca Carrara. [], volume III, London: Richard Bentley, [], (successor to Henry Colburn), →OCLC, page 154:
      ...and the mistletoe crept round many of the oaks—that pleasant parasite, whose associations belong rather to the hearth and lighted hall than to its native branches.
    • 2013 March, Harold J. Morowitz, “The Smallest Cell”, in American Scientist[2], volume 101, number 2, archived from the original on 4 January 2017, page 83:
      It is likely that the long evolutionary trajectory of Mycoplasma went from a reductive autotroph to oxidative heterotroph to a cell-wall–defective degenerate parasite. This evolutionary trajectory assumes the simplicity to complexity route of biogenesis, a point of view that is not universally accepted.
  4. (literary, poetic) A climbing plant which is supported by a wall, trellis etc. [from 19th c.]
    • 1813, Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Canto I”, in Queen Mab; [], London: [] P. B. Shelley, [], →OCLC, page 3:
      Her golden tresses shade / The bosom's stainless pride, / Curling like tendrils of the parasite / Around a marble column.
  5. (historical) A retainer or companion of an ancient Celtic warrior, who praised him in song or poetry at gatherings; a bard.
  6. (aviation) A component of a composite aircraft which is carried aloft and air-launched by a larger carrier aircraft or mother ship to support the primary mission of the carrier; a parasite aircraft.
    • 2019 January 24, Michael E. Brown, Flying Blind: The Politics of the U.S. Strategic Bomber Program, Cornell University Press, →ISBN, page 170:
      [] parasiting and aerial refueling as range-extension measures. Second, parasiting would be exorbitantly expensive, because each parasite bomber would need its own carrier. Two bombers could be serviced by a single tanker, however, []

Antonyms

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Derived terms

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Translations

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also

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Verb

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parasite (third-person singular simple present parasites, present participle parasiting, simple past and past participle parasited)

  1. (rare) To parasitize.
    • 1921, Margaret J. Hamilton, Mental Hygiene and the Parasite, page 19:
      ... parasiting upon her husband, taking everything and giving nothing in return, this woman had brought her husband to a condition of serious ill health because of his grief, anxiety, and despair over her failure.
    • 1961, The Smuts of the Genus Cintractia Parasiting Kobresia Species:
    • 1997, Erik Sterud, Flagellates of the Genus Spironucleus Lavier, 1936 (Diplomonadida: Hexamitidae) Parasiting Farmed and Feral Fish in Norway, →ISBN:
    • 2021 June 8, Macs Smith, Paris and the Parasite: Noise, Health, and Politics in the Media City, MIT Press, →ISBN:
      ... parasiting Google, but as is the case with Microsoft's street art advertisements, the relationship is not a stable one. Using a Google map platform to track his work means sharing his location data with the corporation.

References

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Anagrams

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French

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Pronunciation

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Etymology 1

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Borrowed from Latin parasītus, itself a borrowing from Ancient Greek παράσιτος (parásitos).

Noun

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parasite m (plural parasites)

  1. parasite
  2. (electronics, in the plural) radio interference
    Des parasites troublent l’appareil.
    The equipment is affected by radio interference.

Adjective

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parasite (plural parasites)

  1. parasitic
Derived terms
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Descendants
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  • Romanian: parazit
  • Turkish: parazit

Etymology 2

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See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

Verb

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parasite

  1. inflection of parasiter:
    1. first/third-person singular present indicative/subjunctive
    2. second-person singular imperative

Further reading

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Galician

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Verb

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parasite

  1. inflection of parasitar:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative

Latin

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Noun

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parasīte

  1. vocative singular of parasītus

Portuguese

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Verb

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parasite

  1. inflection of parasitar:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative

Spanish

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Verb

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parasite

  1. inflection of parasitar:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative