• synonyms


  1. an external parasite (opposed to endoparasite).
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Origin of ectoparasite

First recorded in 1860–65; ecto- + parasite
Related formsec·to·par·a·sit·ic [ek-toh-par-uh-sit-ik] /ˌɛk toʊˌpær əˈsɪt ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ectoparasite

Historical Examples of ectoparasite

  • The embryos are ciliated, unlike those of many of the ectoparasite worms.

    Animal Parasites and Messmates

    P. J. Van Beneden

  • The only kind of ectoparasite found on captive cottonmouths in the course of my study was a snake mite, Ophionyssus natricus.

British Dictionary definitions for ectoparasite


  1. a parasite, such as the flea, that lives on the outer surface of its hostAlso called: exoparasite
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Derived Formsectoparasitic (ˌɛktəʊˌpærəˈsɪtɪk), adjective
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

ectoparasite in Medicine


  1. A parasite that lives on the surface or exterior of the host organism, such as an ectophyte or an ectozoon.
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Related formsec′to•par′a•sitic (-sĭtĭk) adj.ec′to•para•sit•ism (-sĭ-tĭz′əm, -sī-) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

ectoparasite in Science


  1. See under parasite.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.