louse

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English lows(e), from Old English lūs, from Proto-Germanic *lūs (compare West Frisian lûs, Dutch luis, Low German Luus, German Laus, from Proto-Indo-European *lewH- (compare Welsh llau(lice), Tocharian B luwo, maybe Sanskrit यूका(yūkā)).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

louse ‎(plural lice or louses)

  1. A small parasitic wingless insect of the order Phthiraptera.
  2. (colloquial, dated, not usually used in plural form) A contemptible person; one who has recently taken an action considered deceitful or indirectly harmful.
    It's then that those louses go back to their spouses, Diamonds are a girl's best friend

Usage notes[edit]

  • When used as a term of abuse, the plural is louses.

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Verb[edit]

louse ‎(third-person singular simple present louses, present participle lousing, simple past and past participle loused)

  1. To remove lice from the body of a person or animal; to delouse.

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