Infest meaning

ĭn-fĕst
To inhabit or overrun in numbers or quantities large enough to be harmful, threatening, or obnoxious.

Rats infesting the sewers; streets that were infested with drugs.

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To live as a parasite in or on.

Livestock that were infested with tapeworms.

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To overrun or inhabit in large numbers, usually so as to be harmful or bothersome; swarm in or over.
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To be parasitic in or on (a host)
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To live as a parasite in or on tissues or organs or on the skin and its appendages.
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To inhabit a place in unpleasantly large numbers.

Insects are infesting my basement!

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(pathology, of a parasite) To invade a host plant or animal.
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(obsolete) Mischievous; hurtful; harassing.

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Origin of infest

  • Middle English infesten to distress from Old French infester from Latin īnfestāre from īnfestus hostile gwhedh- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English infesten, from Old French infester (“to infest”), from Latin īnfestō (“assail, molest”, verb), from īnfestus (“hostile”).

    From Wiktionary