Origin of pediculosis

1885–90; < Latin pēdicul(us) louse (see pedicular) + -osis
Related formspe·dic·u·lous [puh-dik-yuh-luh s] /pəˈdɪk yə ləs/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for pediculous


  1. pathol the state of being infested with lice
Derived Formspediculous (pɪˈdɪkjʊləs), adjective

Word Origin for pediculosis

C19: via New Latin from Latin pedīculus louse; see pedicular
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 pediculous

"infested with lice; pertaining to lice," 1540s, from Latin pediculosus, from pediculus "louse" (see pediculosis).



"lice infestation," 1809, with -osis + pediculus, diminutive of pedis "a louse," said in some sources to be akin to pedere "to break wind" (see petard) on notion of "foul-smelling insect" [Watkins].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pediculous in Medicine


  1. The state of being infested with lice.
Related formspe•dicu•lous (-ləs) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.