parasite
noun Etymology: Middle French, from Latin parasitus, from Greek parasitos, from para- + sitos grain, food Date: 1539 1. a person who exploits the hospitality of the rich and earns welcome by flattery 2. an organism living in, with, or on another organism in parasitism 3. something that resembles a biological parasite in dependence on something else for existence or support without making a useful or adequate return • parasitic also parasitical adjectiveparasitically adverb Synonyms: parasite, sycophant, toady, leech, sponge mean a usually obsequious flatterer or self-seeker. parasite applies to one who clings to a person of wealth, power, or influence or is useless to society <
a jet-setter with an entourage of parasites
>
. sycophant adds to this a strong suggestion of fawning, flattery, or adulation <
a powerful prince surrounded by sycophants
>
. toady emphasizes the servility and snobbery of the self-seeker <
cultivated leaders of society and became their toady
>
. leech stresses persistence in clinging to or bleeding another for one's own advantage <
a leech living off his family and friends
>
. sponge stresses the parasitic laziness, dependence, and opportunism of the cadger <
a shiftless sponge, always looking for a handout
>
.

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • parasite — [ parazit ] n. m. et adj. • v. 1500; lat. parasitus, gr. parasitos, de sitos « nourriture » I ♦ N. m. 1 ♦ Antiq. Commensal attaché à la table d un riche, et qui devait le divertir. ♢ Mod. Personne qui se nourrit en sachant se faire inviter chez… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • parasite — PARASITE. subst. masc. Escornifleur, qui fait mestier d aller manger à la table d autruy. Un franc parasite. un parasite affamé. c est le parasite d un tel …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • parasite — parasite, sycophant, favorite, toady, lickspittle, bootlicker, hanger on, leech, sponge, sponger all signify a person who is supported or sustained or seeks support or sustenance, usually physical but sometimes social or intellectual, from… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Parasite — Par a*site (p[a^]r [.a]*s[imac]t), n. [F., fr. L. parasitus, Gr. para sitos, lit., eating beside, or at the table of, another; para beside + sitei^n to feed, from sitos wheat, grain, food.] [1913 Webster] 1. One who frequents the tables of the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • parasite — (n.) 1530s, a hanger on, a toady, person who lives on others, from M.Fr. parasite, from L. parasitus, from Gk. parasitos person who eats at the table of another, from noun use of an adjective meaning feeding beside, from para beside (see PARA (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • parasite — [par′ə sīt΄] n. [L parasitus < Gr parasitos, one who eats at the table of another, parasite, toady < para , beside (see PARA 1) + sitos, food, grain] 1. a person, as in ancient Greece, who flattered and amused the host in return for free… …   English World dictionary

  • parasite — parasite. См. паразит. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • parasite — noun adsecula, barnacle, beggar, bloodsucker, borrower, burden, cadger, destructive agency, follower, leech, loafer, mendicant, nonworker, panhandler, scrounger, sponge, sycophant Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • parasite — [n] something that exists by taking from or depending on another barnacle, bloodsucker*, bootlicker*, deadbeat*, dependent, flunky, freeloader*, groupie*, hanger on*, idler, leech, scrounger, sponge*, stooge*, sucker*, sycophant, taker*; concepts …   New thesaurus

  • parasite — Parasite, C est à dire Qui suit les lopins. Qui dit et fait tout au gré d autruy, et luy accorde tout pour avoir la repeuë franche, Un flateur pour les morceaux, Un patelin, Un jaquet. Parasitus …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • parasite — ► NOUN 1) an organism which lives in or on another organism and benefits at the other s expense. 2) derogatory a person who lives off or exploits others. DERIVATIVES parasitism noun parasitology noun. ORIGIN Greek parasitos person eating at… …   English terms dictionary

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