• synonyms


[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.
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Origin of semiparasitic

First recorded in 1875–80; semi- + parasitic
Related formssem·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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for semiparasitic

Historical Examples of semiparasitic

  • The Cyclostomes are remarkable among vertebrates in that they are semiparasitic in habit.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 7, Slice 8


British Dictionary definitions for semiparasitic


  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
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Derived Formssemiparasite (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