louse

louse
noun
1》 (plural lice) a small wingless parasitic insect which infests human skin and hair. [Pediculus humanus (see body louse, head louse).]
    ↘a related insect which lives on the skin of mammals or birds. [Orders Anoplura (sucking lice) and Mallophaga (biting lice).]
    ↘used in names of small invertebrates that parasitize aquatic animals or infest plants, e.g. fish louse.
2》 (plural louses) informal a contemptible person.
verb
1》 (louse something up) informal spoil something.
2》 archaic remove lice from.
Origin
OE lūs, (plural) lȳs, of Gmc origin.

English new terms dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Louse — (lous), n.; pl. {Lice} (l[imac]s). [OE. lous, AS. l[=u]s, pl. l[=y]s; akin to D. luis, G. laus, OHG. l[=u]s, Icel. l[=u]s, Sw. lus, Dan. luus; perh. so named because it is destructive, and akin to E. lose, loose.] (Zo[ o]l.) 1. Any one of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • louse — [lous; ] for v., also [ louz] n. pl. lice and, for LOUSE 4, louses [ME lous < OE lus (pl. lys), akin to Ger laus < IE * lūs > Welsh lleuen, Bret laouen] 1. a) any of an order (Anoplura) of small, flat, wingless insects with sucking… …   English World dictionary

  • LOUSE — (Heb. כִּנָּם ,כִּנִּים in plural. Talmud כִּנָּה, singular), insect; one of the ten plagues with which Egypt was smitten (Ex. 8:13–14; Ps. 105:31) was the plague of lice. The כֵּן in Isaiah (51.6): They that dwell therein shall die kemokhen may… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • louse — (n.) parasitic insect infecting human hair and skin, O.E. lus, from P.Gmc. *lus (Cf. O.N. lus, M.Du. luus, Du. luis, O.H.G. lus, Ger. Laus), from PIE *lus louse (Cf. Welsh lleuen louse ). Slang meaning obnoxious person is from 1630s. The plural …   Etymology dictionary

  • Louse — (louz), v. t. To clean from lice. You sat and loused him. Swift. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • louse — ► NOUN 1) (pl. lice) a small wingless parasitic insect which infests human skin and hair. 2) (pl. lice) a related insect which lives on the skin of mammals or birds. 3) (pl. louses) informal a contemptible person. ► VERB (louse u …   English terms dictionary

  • louse — n. /lows/; v. /lows, lowz/, n., pl. lice /luys/ for 1 3, louses for 4, v., loused, lousing. n. 1. any small, wingless insect of the order Anoplura (sucking louse), parasitic on humans and other mammals and having mouthparts adapted for sucking,… …   Universalium

  • Louse — Lice redirects here. For the infection, see Pediculosis. For the district of Diyarbakır Province in Turkey, see Lice, Turkey. For other uses, see Louse (disambiguation). Phthiraptera …   Wikipedia

  • louse — de·louse; ja·louse; jea·louse; louse·berry; louse; pa·louse; tou·louse; …   English syllables

  • louse — I UK [laʊs] / US noun [countable] Word forms louse : singular louse plural lice 1) Word forms louse : plural lice a small insect that lives on the bodies of animals and people 2) informal an unpleasant person II UK [laʊs] / US verb Word forms… …   English dictionary

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