of, relating to, or characteristic of .
(of diseases) due to .
Phonetics, (def 2).
Contemporary Examples

They are typically invasive, highly adaptive, parasitic and adept at mimicking more benign plants.
The Best of Brit Lit Peter Stothard December 16, 2010

Art is parasitic on life, just as criticism is parasitic on art.
Welcome to Generation Overshare: Lena Dunham, Taylor Swift, and the Politics of Self-Disclosure Marlow Stern November 5, 2014

One of the insects Chaz caught – and I promise I am not making this up – was a parasitic wasp.
Chaz Catches Parasitic Wasp Tom Sykes June 27, 2012

From drug-resistant TB to parasitic worms, Barbara Kantrowitz reports on eight diseases to watch—and worry about.
8 Diseases Scarier Than Swine Flu Barbara Kantrowitz October 15, 2009

Definitely a few unpleasant characters, like parasitic worms, which we deliberately and with good reason evicted.
An Epidemic of Absence: Destroying the Bugs in Our Bodies Can Be Dangerous to Our Health Moises Velasquez-Manoff September 8, 2012

Historical Examples

The life-blood of France was being sucked for the support of a parasitic growth.
Talleyrand Joseph McCabe

Like some parasitic growth she was taking her strength from him.
The Man Who Wins Robert Herrick

The bark of the tree is covered with mosses, lichens, and parasitic insects.
The History of Creation, Vol. I (of 2) Ernst Haeckel

It is admitted on all hands that some diseases are the product of parasitic growth.
Fragments of science, V. 1-2 John Tyndall

It sinks to a place even lower, if possible, than that of the parasitic worm.
The Whence and the Whither of Man John Mason Tyler


1620s, from Latin parasiticus, from Greek parasitikos “of or pertaining to a parasite; the trade of a parasite,” from parasitos (see parasite). Biological sense is from 1731. Related: Parasitical, 1570s in reference to toadies; from 1640s in the biological sense.

parasitic par·a·sit·ic (pār’ə-sĭt’ĭk) or par·a·sit·i·cal (-ĭ-kəl)

Of, relating to, or characteristic of a parasite.

Caused by a parasite.


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