Parasite meaning

părə-sīt
Frequency:
A person who lives at the expense of another or others without making any useful contribution or return; hanger-on.
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An organism that lives and feeds on or in an organism of a different species and causes harm to its host.
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An organism that lives and feeds on or in an organism of a different species and causes harm to its host.
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The definition of a parasite is a person or organism that takes from or exploits others, giving nothing in return.

An example of a parasite is tapeworm or ringworm.

An example of a parasite is a person you know who is continually borrowing money and asking things of you without giving anything back.

noun
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(pejorative) A person who lives on other people's efforts or expense and gives little back. [from 16th c.]
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A person, as in ancient Greece, who flattered and amused the host in return for free meals.
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A professional dinner guest, especially in ancient Greece.
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An organism that lives on or in a different kind of organism (the host) from which it gets some or all of its nourishment. Parasites are harmful to their hosts, although the damage they do ranges widely from minor inconvenience to debilitating or fatal disease. &diamf3; A parasite that lives or feeds on the outer surface of the host's body, such as a louse, tick, or leech, is called an ectoparasite . Ectoparasites do not usually cause disease themselves although they are frequently a vector of disease, as in the case of ticks, which can transmit the organisms that cause such diseases as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. &diamf3; A parasite that lives inside the body of its host is called an endoparasite . Endoparasites include organisms such as tapeworms, hookworms, and trypanosomes that live within the host's organs or tissues, as well as organisms such as sporozoans that invade the host's cells.
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Unsolicited software that is installed in a computer without users realizing it. There are many different types. Parasites can report Web browsing habits to a marketing company over the Internet (see spyware) or change browser settings to point to a specific site. They can redirect search engine results to a site that sells a related product, and they can cause premium services to be dialed up.Read the License AgreementParasites are often installed with freeware, and the license agreement may actually say so, but hardly anyone reads it. Sometimes, users can opt out of installing the parasite and install only what they wanted in the first place. Be sure security settings are set to medium at least, and never click "Yes" to any dialog that asks "do you want to run" or "execute" something unless you know what that something is. ActiveX controls on the Web cannot only install parasites but viruses as well.Parasites often do not include an uninstall function and may not be easily removed, although anti-parasite programs can detect and remove them (see spyware blocker).
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(biology) An organism that lives on or in another organism, 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.

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(literary, poetic) A climbing plant which is supported by a wall, trellis etc. [from 19th c.]
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A plant or animal that lives on or in an organism of another species from which it derives sustenance or protection without benefit to, and usually with harmful effects on, the host.
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Origin of parasite

  • Latin parasītus a person who lives by amusing the rich from Greek parasītos person who eats at someone else's table, parasite para- beside para–1 sītos grain, food

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

  • From Latin parasitus, from Ancient Greek παράσιτος (parasitos, “person who eats at the table of another"), from noun use of adjective meaning "feeding beside", from παρά (para, “beside") + σῖτος (sitos, “food").

    From Wiktionary