[ sem-ee-par-uh-sit-ik, sem-ahy- ]

  1. Biology. commonly parasitic but also capable of living on dead or decaying animal matter.

  2. Botany. partly parasitic and partly photosynthetic.

Origin of semiparasitic

First recorded in 1875–80; semi- + parasitic

Other words from semiparasitic

  • sem·i·par·a·site [sem-ee-par-uh-sahyt, sem-ahy-], /ˌsɛm iˈpær əˌsaɪt, ˌsɛm aɪ-/, noun
  • sem·i·par·a·sit·ism [sem-ee-par-uh-sahy-tiz-uhm, sem-ahy-], /ˌsɛm iˈpær əˌsaɪ tɪz əm, ˌsɛm aɪ-/, noun

Words Nearby semiparasitic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use semiparasitic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for semiparasitic


/ (ˌsɛmɪˌpærəˈsɪtɪk) /

  1. (of plants, such as mistletoe) obtaining some food from a host but undergoing photosynthesis at the same time

  2. (of bacteria or fungi) usually parasitic but capable of living as a saprotroph

Derived forms of semiparasitic

  • semiparasite (ˌsɛmɪˈpærəsaɪt), noun
  • semiparasitism (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