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[in-fest] /ɪnˈfɛst/

verb (used with object)
to live in or overrun to an unwanted degree or in a troublesome manner, especially as predatory animals or vermin do:
Sharks infested the coastline.
to be numerous in, as anything undesirable or troublesome:
the cares that infest the day.
Archaic. to harass.
verb (transitive)
to inhabit or overrun in dangerously or unpleasantly large numbers
(of parasites such as lice) to invade and live on or in (a host)

late 15c., “to attack, assail, hurt, distress, annoy,” from Middle French infester, from Latin infestare “to attack, disturb, trouble,” from infestus “hostile, dangerous,” originally “inexorable, not able to be handled,” from in- “not, opposite of” (see in- (1)) + -festus “(able to be) seized.” Sense of “swarm over in large numbers” first recorded c.1600. Related: Infested; infesting.

infest in·fest (ĭn-fěst’)
v. in·fest·ed, in·fest·ing, in·fests

in’fes·ta’tion n.


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