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[par-uh-sit-ik] /ˌpær əˈsɪt ɪk/
of, relating to, or characteristic of parasites.
(of diseases) due to parasites.
Phonetics. excrescent (def 2).
Sometimes, parasitical.
Origin of parasitic
1620-30; < Latin parasīticus < Greek parasītikós. See parasite, -ic
Related forms
parasitically, adverb
parasiticalness, noun
antiparasitic, noun, adjective
antiparasitical, adjective
antiparasitically, adverb
nonparasitic, adjective
nonparasitical, adjective
nonparasitically, adverb
pseudoparasitic, adjective
unparasitic, adjective
unparasitical, adjective
unparasitically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for parasitical
Historical Examples
  • That is intensely curious about the parasitical plant of Borneo.

    Hortus Inclusus John Ruskin
  • Pope, it must be remembered, is essentially a parasitical writer.

  • Scarcely is the sun risen when we are plagued by the parasitical and inquisitive mob.

    The Sisters, Complete Georg Ebers
  • Are you not ashamed to crowd around a table, like parasitical dogs?

  • Because the mistletoe is a parasitical plant, growing upon the bark of other trees.

    The Reason Why Anonymous
  • All the parasitical crustaceans are placed in this first category.

    Animal Parasites and Messmates P. J. Van Beneden
  • The Mutill are parasitical on solitary bees, their larv devouring their larv.

    The Insect World Louis Figuier
  • They are not the creations of a God; they are the parasitical images of type.

    Berenice E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • They had it all figured out, in their own parasitical, cold-blooded way.

    Collectivum Mike Lewis
  • And yet the cow-bird finds this nest and drops her parasitical egg in it.

Word Origin and History for parasitical



1620s, from Latin parasiticus, from Greek parasitikos "of or pertaining to a parasite; the trade of a parasite," from parasitos (see parasite). Biological sense is from 1731. Related: Parasitical, 1570s in reference to toadies; from 1640s in the biological sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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parasitical in Medicine

parasitic par·a·sit·ic (pār'ə-sĭt'ĭk) or par·a·sit·i·cal (-ĭ-kəl)

  1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a parasite.

  2. Caused by a parasite.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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