Pernicious meaning

pər-nĭsh'əs
The definition of pernicious is deadly or very destructive.

An example of pernicious is the devastating effects of intense drug use.

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Causing great injury, destruction, or ruin; fatal; deadly.
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Tending to cause death or serious injury; deadly.

A pernicious virus.

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Causing much harm in a subtle way.
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Causing great harm; destructive.

Pernicious rumors.

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Wicked; evil.
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Causing death or injury; deadly.
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Origin of pernicious

  • Middle English from Old French pernicios from Latin perniciōsus from perniciēs destruction per- per- nex nec- violent death nek-1 in Indo-European roots
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From Middle English, from Old French pernicios, from Latin perniciosus (“destructive"), from pernicies (“destruction"), from per (“through") + nex (“slaughter, death")
    From Wiktionary