[par-uh-sahy-tiz-uhm, -si-]
Biology. a relation between organisms in which one lives as a parasite on another.
a parasitic mode of life or existence.
Pathology. a diseased condition due to parasites.
unemployment or refusal to work.
employment in work considered nonessential by the state.

1605–15; parasite + -ism

nonparasitism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
parasitism (ˈpærəsaɪˌtɪzəm)
1.  the relationship between a parasite and its host
2.  the state of being infested with parasites
3.  the state of being a parasite

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

parasitism par·a·sit·ism (pār'ə-sĭ-tĭz'əm, -sī-)
A symbiotic relationship in which one species, the parasite, benefits at the expense of the other, the host.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
parasitism  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (pār'ə-sĭ-tĭz'əm)  Pronunciation Key 
A symbiotic relationship in which one organism (the parasite) benefits and the other (the host) is generally harmed. Parasites derive nutrition from their host and may also gain other benefits such as shelter and a habitat in which to grow and reproduce. See more at parasite. Compare amensalism, commensalism, mutualism.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Yet parasitism is widespread and can affect behavior, reproduction and other aspects of the lives of hosts.
Chapman is trying to determine how nutrition and parasitism operate synergistically to influence primate population size.
Mortality is affected by bad weather, predation, parasitism and infectious diseases.
And in such a complete case of parasitism, even the former caterpillar's genome
  could have been reduced.
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