from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various slender, threadlike nematode worms of the superfamily Filarioidea that are parasitic in vertebrates and are often transmitted as larvae by mosquitoes and other biting insects. The adult form lives in the blood and lymphatic tissues, causing inflammation and obstruction that can lead to elephantiasis.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The typical genus of the family Filariidæ, containing parasitic nematode worms of very slender filiform shape, some attaining a length of several feet.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) a small, slender nematode worm of the family Onchocercidae (Filariidae) of many species, parasitic when adult in various animals, including man. They may live within the blood, or in other bodily fluids, or within tissues or cavities of the body. Infection with such organisms may be transmitted by blood-sucking arthropods.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a former genus comprised of certain nematodes, now classed as belonging to several genera within the family Onchocercidae. See onchocerca and guinea worm.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A parasitic nematode worm that lives in the blood of vertebrates and is transmitted by insects: the cause of filariasis.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun European weed naturalized in southwestern United States and Mexico having reddish decumbent stems with small fernlike leaves and small deep reddish-lavender flowers followed by slender fruits that stick straight up; often grown for forage
  • noun slender threadlike roundworms living in the blood and tissues of vertebrates; transmitted as larvae by biting insects


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[New Latin Fīlāria, former genus name, from Latin fīlum, thread; see gwhī- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

19th Century, New Latin Filaria (former name of genus), from Latin filum ("thread").


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  • See citation on bilharzia.

    September 1, 2008