Definition of filaria in US English:



  • A threadlike parasitic nematode worm that is transmitted by biting flies and mosquitoes, causing filariasis and related diseases.

    Superfamily Filarioidea, class Phasmida

    • ‘The Government campaign to eradicate filaria through the mass drug administration programme is good and in the interest of community health.’
    • ‘ARS researchers are using new biological controls to retaliate against the mosquito, an insect that can transmit viruses, protozoan parasites, and filariae (small worms).’
    • ‘It was the younger Thomas Bancroft who proved in 1899 that filariae that actively developed in the mosquito were transferred to humans by the act of feeding on blood.’
    • ‘Manson commented, ‘It is marvelous how Nature has adapted the habits of the filariae to those of the mosquito.’’
    • ‘The adult filariae lodge in the lymphatic system causing debilitating lymphoedema.’


Mid 19th century: from modern Latin Filaria (former genus name), from Latin filum ‘thread’.