Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

parasitism

[par-uh-sahy-tiz-uh m, -si-]
noun
  1. Biology. a relation between organisms in which one lives as a parasite on another.
  2. a parasitic mode of life or existence.
  3. Pathology. a diseased condition due to parasites.
  4. (in some totalitarian countries)
    1. unemployment or refusal to work.
    2. employment in work considered nonessential by the state.
Show More

Origin of parasitism

First recorded in 1605–15; parasite + -ism
Related formsnon·par·a·sit·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for parasitism

Historical Examples of parasitism

  • Other cases may be mentioned which are still further removed from parasitism.

    The Industries of Animals

    Frdric Houssay

  • Parasitism, he will say, is one of the gravest crimes in Nature.

  • Yet, though he thought it not, this is parasitism in its worst and most degrading form.

  • Need we proceed to formulate objections to the parasitism of Evangelicism?

  • So far from ministering to growth, parasitism ministers to decay.


British Dictionary definitions for parasitism

parasitism

noun
  1. the relationship between a parasite and its host
  2. the state of being infested with parasites
  3. the state of being a parasite
Show More
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 parasitism

n.

1610s, from parasite + -ism. Biological sense is from 1853.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

parasitism in Medicine

parasitism

(părə-sĭ-tĭz′əm, -sī-)
n.
  1. A symbiotic relationship in which one species, the parasite, benefits at the expense of the other, the host.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

parasitism in Science

parasitism

[părə-sĭ-tĭz′əm]
  1. A relationship between two organisms in which one organism (the parasite) benefits and the other (the host) is harmed. Parasites derive nutrition from their host and may also gain other benefits such as shelter and a habitat in which to grow and reproduce. See more at parasite. Compare amensalism commensalism mutualism.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.