noun, plural: parasites

An organism that obtains nourishment and shelter on another organism.


Parasites can cause harm or disease to their host. They are generally much smaller than their hosts. Examples of parasites are tapeworms, flukes, lice, ticks, etc.

Word origin: Latin parasitus from Greek parasitos (person who eats at the table of another).

Compare: parasitoid

See also: parasitism

Related terms:

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