noun, plural lice [lahys] /laɪs/ for 1–3, lous·es for 4.
verb (used with object), loused, lous·ing.
Origin of louse
noun plural lice (laɪs)
Word Origin for louse
"parasitic insect infecting human hair and skin," Old English lus, from Proto-Germanic *lus (cf. Old Norse lus, Middle Dutch luus, Dutch luis, Old High German lus, German Laus), from PIE *lus- "louse" (cf. Welsh lleuen "louse"). Slang meaning "obnoxious person" is from 1630s. The plural lice (Old English lys) shows effects of i-mutation. The verb meaning "to clear of lice" is from late 14c.; to louse up "ruin, botch" first attested 1934, from the literal sense (of bedding), from 1931.
n. pl. lice (līs)
Spoil, ruin, bungle. For example, The bad weather loused up our plans, or Your change of mind really loused me up. This slangy expression originated in World War I, when infestation with lice was the common lot of soldiers in the trenches; its figurative use dates from the 1930s.