[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.

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

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

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.
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.


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