- to live in or overrun to an unwanted degree or in a troublesome manner, especially as predatory animals or vermin do: Sharks infested the coastline.
- to be numerous in, as anything undesirable or troublesome: the cares that infest the day.
- Archaic. to harass.
Origin of infest
Examples from the Web for infest
It extinguishes every dirty spark of malice and envy, which are but too apt to infest me.The Letters of Robert Burns
Insects do not seem to infest it as they do the ostreatus and the sapidus.The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise
M. E. Hard
They infest desert places, and are nocturnal in their habits.History of Religion
From them have come the many species of shark that now infest our ocean.Unwritten Literature of Hawaii
Nathaniel Bright Emerson
Other species eat most of the scales which infest fruit and forest trees.Checking the Waste
Mary Huston Gregory
- to inhabit or overrun in dangerously or unpleasantly large numbers
- (of parasites such as lice) to invade and live on or in (a host)
Word Origin and History for infest
late 15c., "to attack, assail, hurt, distress, annoy," from Middle French infester, from Latin infestare "to attack, disturb, trouble," from infestus "hostile, dangerous," originally "inexorable, not able to be handled," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + -festus "(able to be) seized." Sense of "swarm over in large numbers" first recorded c.1600. Related: Infested; infesting.
- To live as a parasite in or on tissues or organs or on the skin and its appendages.
- To inhabit or overrun in numbers large enough to be harmful, threatening, or obnoxious.