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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Mite'

Mite Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    mite n
  1. a slight but appreciable addition; "this dish could use a touch of garlic" [syn: touch, hint, tinge, pinch, jot, speck, soupcon]
  2. any of numerous very small to minute arachnids often infesting animals or plants or stored foods
Mite Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Mite \Mite\, n. [AS. m[=i]te mite (in sense 1); akin to LG. mite, D. mijt, G. miete, OHG. m[=i]za; cf. Goth. maitan to cut.]
  1. (Zo["o]l.) A minute arachnid, of the order Acarina, of which there are many species; as, the cheese mite, sugar mite, harvest mite, etc. See Acarina.
  2. [D. mijt; prob. the same word.] A small coin formerly circulated in England, rated at about a third of a farthing. The name is also applied to a small coin used in Palestine in the time of Christ. Two mites, which make a farthing. --Mark xii. 49.
  3. A small weight; one twentieth of a grain.
  4. Anything very small; a minute object; a very little quantity or particle. For in effect they be not worth a myte. --Chaucer.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Mite'

Mites, along with ticks, are small arthropods belonging to the subclass Acari (also known as Acarina) and the class Arachnida. The scientific discipline devoted to the study of ticks and mites is called acarology.

In the usual taxonomy, the ticks form one of several superfamilies in the taxon comprising the mites.

Mites are paraphyletic. They include all members of Acari except for the ticks.

Mites are among the most diverse and successful of all the invertebrate groups. They have exploited an incredible array of habitats, and because of their small size (most are microscopic) go largely unnoticed. Many live freely in the soil or water, but there are also a large number of species that live as parasites on plants, animals, and some that feed on mold. It is estimated that 48,200 species of mites have been described.

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