Louse 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 numerous species of small, wingless, suctorial, parasitic insects belonging to a tribe ({Pediculina}), now usually regarded as degraded Hemiptera. To this group belong of the lice of man and other mammals; as, the head louse of man ({Pediculus capitis}), the body louse ({Pediculus vestimenti}), and the crab louse ({Phthirius pubis}), and many others. See {Crab louse}, {Dog louse}, {Cattle louse}, etc., under {Crab}, {Dog}, etc. [1913 Webster]

2. Any one of numerous small mandibulate insects, mostly parasitic on birds, and feeding on the feathers. They are known as Mallophaga, or bird lice, though some occur on the hair of mammals. They are usually regarded as degraded Pseudoneuroptera. See {Mallophaga}. [1913 Webster]

3. Any one of the numerous species of aphids, or plant lice. See {Aphid}. [1913 Webster]

4. Any small crustacean parasitic on fishes. See {Branchiura}, and {Ichthvophthira}. [1913 Webster]

Note: The term is also applied to various other parasites; as, the whale louse, beelouse, horse louse. [1913 Webster]

{Louse fly} (Zo["o]l.), a parasitic dipterous insect of the group Pupipara. Some of them are wingless, as the bee louse.

{Louse mite} (Zo["o]l.), any one of numerous species of mites which infest mammals and birds, clinging to the hair and feathers like lice. They belong to {Myobia}, {Dermaleichus}, {Mycoptes}, and several other genera. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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

  • 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… …   English new terms dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”