Definition of

Louse

  1. (noun, animal) wingless usually flattened bloodsucking insect parasitic on warm-blooded animals
  2. (noun, animal) wingless insect with mouth parts adapted for biting; mostly parasitic on birds
  3. (noun, animal) any of several small insects especially aphids that feed by sucking the juices from plants
  4. (noun, person) a person who has a nasty or unethical character undeserving of respect

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Louse

  1. O.E. lus, "parasitic insect infecting human hair and skin," from P.Gmc. *lus (cf. O.N., M.Du., O.H.G. lus, Ger. Laur). Slang meaning "obnoxious person" is from 1630s. The plural lice (O.E. lys) shows effects of i-mutation. The verb meaning "to clear of lice" is from mid-15c.; to louse up "ruin, botch" first attested 1934. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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