[ beg-erz-lahys ]
/ ˈbɛg ərzˌlaɪs /

noun, plural beg·gar's-lice.

(used with a singular or plural verb) any of several plants, especially of the genera Cynoglossum and Hackelia, having small, prickly fruits that stick to clothing.
(used with a plural verb) the fruits or seeds of such a plant.
Also beg·gar-lice [beg-er-lahys] /ˈbɛg ərˌlaɪs/.

Origin of beggar's-lice

An Americanism dating back to 1840–50 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for beggar's-lice


noun (functioning as singular)

any of several plants, esp the stickseed, having small prickly fruits that adhere to clothing, fur, etc
the seed or fruit of any of these plants
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012