To trouble greatly by numbers or by frequency of presence; to disturb; to annoy; to frequent and molest or harass; as, fleas infest dogs and cats; a sea infested with pirates. "To poison vermin that infest his plants." (Cowper) "These, said the genius, are envy, avarice, superstition, love, with the like cares and passions that infest human life." (Addison) "And the cares, that infest the day, Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, And as silently steal away." (Longfellow)

Origin: L. Infestare, fr. Infestus disturbed, hostile, troublesome; in in, against + the root of defendere: cf. F. Infester. See Defend.

(01 Mar 1998)

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