One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The larger and more completely developed member of a pair of unequal conjoined twins, on which the less developed member (parasite) is dependent. In early use also: †either of a pair of equally developed conjoined twins (obsolete).
Mid 19th century. From French autosite from ancient Greek αὐτόσιτος bringing one's own provisions from αὐτο- + σῖτος food.
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