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[in-fest] /ɪnˈfɛst/
verb (used with object)
to live in or overrun to an unwanted degree or in a troublesome manner, especially as predatory animals or vermin do:
Sharks infested the coastline.
to be numerous in, as anything undesirable or troublesome:
the cares that infest the day.
Archaic. to harass.
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin infestāre to assail, molest, derivative of infestus hostile
Related forms
infester, noun
reinfest, verb (used with object)
uninfested, adjective
Can be confused
infect, infest, invest. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for infested
  • infested plants show leaf wilt, followed by total collapse.
  • The pests pupate during the summer in the same trees they infested as caterpillars.
  • Remove and destroy infested plants, especially before seeds form.
  • Its mouth was infested with infectious bacteria that persist in modern birds.
  • Plants sealed off from the bats had more leaf damage and were more infested with insects than the other two groups.
  • Perhaps the microorganism lived in herbivorous dinosaurs, too, and entered the tyrannosaurs when they fed on infested prey.
  • It was infested with robbers, renegades, thieves and highwaymen.
  • Two noted marauders, by whose depredations the public ways were infested.
  • Yes, it's been infested by file-swappers, in some newsgroups.
  • Booth often features cartoons about incompetent car mechanics and dog-infested car garages.
British Dictionary definitions for infested


verb (transitive)
to inhabit or overrun in dangerously or unpleasantly large numbers
(of parasites such as lice) to invade and live on or in (a host)
Derived Forms
infestation, noun
infester, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin infestāre to molest, from infestus hostile
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
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Word Origin and History for infested



late 15c., "to attack, assail, hurt, distress, annoy," from Middle French infester, from Latin infestare "to attack, disturb, trouble," from infestus "hostile, dangerous," originally "inexorable, not able to be handled," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + -festus "(able to be) seized." Sense of "swarm over in large numbers" first recorded c.1600. Related: Infested; infesting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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infested in Medicine

infest in·fest (ĭn-fěst')
v. in·fest·ed, in·fest·ing, in·fests

  1. To live as a parasite in or on tissues or organs or on the skin and its appendages.

  2. To inhabit or overrun in numbers large enough to be harmful, threatening, or obnoxious.

in'fes·ta'tion n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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