9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[par-uh-sahy-tiz-uh m, -si-] /ˈpær ə saɪˌtɪz əm, -sɪ-/
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.
  1. unemployment or refusal to work.
  2. employment in work considered nonessential by the state.
Origin of parasitism
1605-15; parasite + -ism
Related forms
nonparasitism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for parasitism
  • 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.
  • Dogs have not quite reached that point in their parasitism of human society.
  • At first glance, this approach might seem to bear out the charge of parasitism.
  • Probably both: it was a case of symbiotic parasitism.
  • All these are complicated questions, and unfortunately there's a lot of room for over-simplification and personal parasitism.
  • Evolutionarily, it seems to me that the best way to regard the marmoset story is as parasitism.
  • Scientists also will look at parasitism of songbird nests by cowbirds, predation and the reproductive success of songbirds.
British Dictionary definitions for parasitism


the relationship between a parasite and its host
the state of being infested with parasites
the state of being a parasite
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 parasitism

1610s, from parasite + -ism. Biological sense is from 1853.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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parasitism in Medicine

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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parasitism in Science
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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