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Definition of "parasite" []

  • Biology An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host. (noun)
  • One who habitually takes advantage of the generosity of others without making any useful return. (noun)
  • One who lives off and flatters the rich; a sycophant. (noun)
  • A professional dinner guest, especially in ancient Greece. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "parasite" in a sentence
  • "Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP chief executive, has labelled Google a "frenemy", due to both the threat and the opportunity it represents, while former ITV chief executive Michael Grade decided not to sit on the fence, preferring the term "parasite"."
  • "Yet, the word parasite still carries the same insulting charge."
  • "‡ The term parasite is often applied to a person who takes advantage of other people and fails to offer anything in return."