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louse

[n. lous; v. lous, louz] /n. laʊs; v. laʊs, laʊz/
noun, plural lice
[lahys] /laɪs/ (Show IPA),
for 1–3, louses for 4.
1.
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)
2.
any insect of the order Mallophaga (bird louse, biting louse, or chewing louse) parasitic on birds and mammals, having mouthparts adapted for biting.
4.
Slang. a contemptible person, especially an unethical one.
verb (used with object), loused, lousing.
5.
to delouse.
Verb phrases
6.
louse up, Slang. to spoil; botch:
Miscasting loused up the movie.
Origin
900
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for louse
  • The body louse, a plague to humans and our ancestors for millions of years, subsists exclusively on our unwitting hospitality.
  • In persons with dark hair, the adult louse will appear darker.
  • Humorous songs and poems have been written about the flea but there is nothing funny about a louse.
British Dictionary definitions for louse

louse

/laʊs/
noun (pl) lice (laɪs)
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 man related adjective 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) (pl) louses. an unpleasant or mean person
verb (transitive)
5.
to remove lice from
6.
(foll by up) (slang) to ruin or spoil
Word Origin
Old English lūs; related to Old High German, Old Norse lūs
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 louse
louse
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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louse in Medicine

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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Slang definitions & phrases for louse

louse

noun

An obnoxious and despicable person, esp one who is devious and undependable; bastard, crumb: We kicked the dirty louse out when he said that (1633+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Word Value for louse

5
7
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