Word of the Week

Pediculous

https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day/pediculous-2020-09-02


Definition

: infested with lice : lousy

Did You Know?

Count on the English language’s Latin lexical options to pretty up the unpleasant. You can have an entire conversation about lice and avoid the l-word entirely using pediculous and its relatives. None of the words (from pediculus, meaning “louse”) is remotely common, but they’re all available to you should you feel the need for them. There’s pediculosis, meaning “infestation with lice,” pedicular, “of or relating to lice,” and pediculoid, “resembling or related to the common lice.” Pediculid names a particular kind of louse—one of the family Pediculidae. And if you’d like to put an end to all of this you might require a pediculicide—defined as “an agent for destroying lice.”

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Examples

All of the campers in the cabin had to be checked for lice when one boy’s sleeping bag was discovered to be pediculous.

“They say pediculous humors and fly borne air are culprits of plague, so the townsmen make a pyre of flowers and brush, attar and spikenard, by way of purging the air of offense.” — Fiona Maazel, Last Last Chance, 2008

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