plural of louse. Unabridged


[n. lous; v. lous, louz]
noun, plural lice [lahys] , for 1–3, louses for 4.
any small, wingless insect of the order Anoplura (sucking louse) parasitic on humans and other mammals and having mouthparts adapted for sucking, as Pediculus humanus (body louse or head louse) and Phthirius pubis (crab louse or pubic louse)
any insect of the order Mallophaga (bird louse, biting louse, or chewing louse) parasitic on birds and mammals, having mouthparts adapted for biting.
Slang. a contemptible person, especially an unethical one.
verb (used with object), loused, lousing.
to delouse.
Verb phrases
louse up, Slang. to spoil; botch: Miscasting loused up the movie.

before 900; 1910–15 for def 4; Middle English lous(e), luse, plural lise, lice; Old English lūs, plural lȳs; cognate with Dutch luis, German Laus, Old Norse lūs Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
lice (laɪs)
the plural of louse

louse (laʊs)
n , pl lice, louses
1.  any wingless bloodsucking insect of the order Anoplura: includes Pediculus capitis (head louse), Pediculus corporis (body louse), and the crab louse, all of which infest manRelated: pedicular
2.  biting louse, bird louse any wingless insect of the order Mallophaga, such as the chicken louse: external parasites of birds and mammals with biting mouthparts
3.  any of various similar but unrelated insects, such as the plant louse and book louse
4.  slang an unpleasant or mean person
5.  to remove lice from
6.  slang (foll by up) to ruin or spoil
Related: pedicular
[Old English lūs; related to Old High German, Old Norse lūs]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. lus, "parasitic insect infecting human hair and skin," from P.Gmc. *lus (cf. O.N., M.Du., O.H.G. lus, Ger. Laur). Slang meaning "obnoxious person" is from 1630s. The plural lice (O.E. lys) shows effects of i-mutation. The verb meaning "to clear
of lice" is from mid-15c.; to louse up "ruin, botch" first attested 1934.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

lice (līs)
Plural of louse.

louse (lous)
n. pl. lice (līs)
Any of numerous small, flat-bodied, wingless biting or sucking insects of the orders Mallophaga or Anoplura, many of which are external parasites on humans.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Bible Dictionary

Lice definition

(Heb. kinnim), the creatures employed in the third plague sent upon Egypt (Ex. 8:16-18). They were miraculously produced from the dust of the land. "The entomologists Kirby and Spence place these minute but disgusting insects in the very front rank of those which inflict injury upon man. A terrible list of examples they have collected of the ravages of this and closely allied parasitic pests." The plague of lice is referred to in Ps. 105:31. Some have supposed that the word denotes not lice properly, but gnats. Others, with greater probability, take it to mean the "tick" which is much larger than lice.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
Then almost as a bonus, the short haired apes found it far easier to find and
  remove lice.
Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they
  write so little.
They suffocated head lice with it, sometimes holding it on with plastic wrap,
  or a crown of tin foil.
Feather lice, for example, live in the feathers of birds.
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