One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A mite or tick; specifically (in later use) a mite of the genus Acarus (family Acaridae). Also (in form Acarus): the genus itself.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Samuel Purchas (c1605–1659). From post-classical Latin acarus from ancient Greek ἄκαρι mite from ἀκαρής minute, too short for cutting from ἀ- + καρ-, aorist stem of κείρειν to cut.
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