- likely to cause death; deadly
- Rare contagious; pestilential
- dangerous to the security and welfare of society; pernicious: the pestilent threat of war
- annoying; troublesome
Origin: Middle English from Classical Latin pestilens from pestis, plague
- pestilently adverb
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- Tending to cause death; deadly.
- Likely to cause an epidemic disease.
- Infected or contaminated with a contagious disease.
- Morally, socially, or politically harmful; pernicious. See Synonyms at poisonous.
- Causing annoyance or disapproval.
Origin: Middle English, from Old French, from Latin pestilēns, pestilent-, from pestis, pestilence; see pest.