[ sem-ee-par-uh-sit-ik, sem-ahy- ]
/ ˌsɛm iˌpær əˈsɪt ɪk, ˌsɛm aɪ- /


Biology. commonly parasitic but also capable of living on dead or decaying animal matter.
Botany. partly parasitic and partly photosynthetic.

Origin of semiparasitic

First recorded in 1875–80; semi- + parasitic

Related forms

sem·i·par·a·site [sem-ee-par-uh-sahyt, sem-ahy-] /ˌsɛm iˈpær əˌsaɪt, ˌsɛm aɪ-/, nounsem·i·par·a·sit·ism [sem-ee-par-uh-sahy-tiz-uh m, sem-ahy-] /ˌsɛm iˈpær əˌsaɪ tɪz əm, ˌsɛm aɪ-/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for semi-parasite


/ (ˌsɛmɪˌpærəˈsɪtɪk) /


(of plants, such as mistletoe) obtaining some food from a host but undergoing photosynthesis at the same time
(of bacteria or fungi) usually parasitic but capable of living as a saprotroph

Derived Forms

semiparasite (ˌsɛmɪˈpærəsaɪt), nounsemiparasitism (ˌsɛmɪˈpærəsɪˌtɪzəm), 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