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See more synonyms for parasitic on Thesaurus.com
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of parasites.
  2. (of diseases) due to parasites.
  3. Phonetics. excrescent(def 2).
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Sometimes par·a·sit·i·cal.

Origin of parasitic

1620–30; < Latin parasīticus < Greek parasītikós. See parasite, -ic
Related formspar·a·sit·i·cal·ly, adverbpar·a·sit·i·cal·ness, nounan·ti·par·a·sit·ic, noun, adjectivean·ti·par·a·sit·i·cal, adjectivean·ti·par·a·sit·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·par·a·sit·ic, adjectivenon·par·a·sit·i·cal, adjectivenon·par·a·sit·i·cal·ly, adverbpseu·do·par·a·sit·ic, adjectiveun·par·a·sit·ic, adjectiveun·par·a·sit·i·cal, adjectiveun·par·a·sit·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for parasitical

bumming, leeching, sponging, parasitical, abject, beggarly, complacent, compliant, cringing, deferential, fawning, flattering, ingratiating, menial, obeisant, oily, prostrate, respectful, servile, slavish

Examples from the Web for parasitical

Historical Examples of parasitical

  • 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.

  • 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.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

parasitical in Medicine


  1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a parasite.
  2. Caused by a parasite.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.