adjective, lous·i·er, lous·i·est.
  1. infested with lice.
  2. Informal.
    1. mean or contemptible: That was a lousy thing to do.
    2. wretchedly bad; miserable: a lousy job; I feel lousy.
  1. lousy with, Slang. well supplied with or filled with, often to excess: Our city is lousy with bad drivers. I wish I were lousy with money like my boss.

Origin of lousy

First recorded in 1350–1400, lousy is from the Middle English word lousi. See louse, -y1
Related formslous·i·ly, adverblous·i·ness, noun

Synonyms for lousy

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lousiness

Historical Examples of lousiness

  • Thus, we have Pediculid (the source of lousiness), Philopterid, and Liotheid.


    T. Spencer Cobbold

  • I had not known a bath during all the time I was on the Somme and lousiness was part and parcel of my make-up.

    S.O.S. Stand to!

    Reginald Grant

  • Pediculosis: a state of lousiness, or the abnormal condition caused by the multiplication of lice on the body: sec phthiriasis.

British Dictionary definitions for lousiness


adjective lousier or lousiest
  1. slang very mean or unpleasanta lousy thing to do
  2. slang inferior or badthis is a lousy film
  3. infested with lice
  4. (foll by with) slang
    1. provided with an excessive amount (of)he's lousy with money
    2. full of or teeming with
Derived Formslousily, adverblousiness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for lousiness



mid-14c., lousi, "infested with lice," from louse + -y (2). Figurative use as a generic adjective of abuse dates from late 14c.; sense of "swarming with" (money, etc.) is American English slang from 1843. Related: Lousiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper