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producing or tending to produce infectious or contagious, often epidemic, disease; pestilential.
destructive to life; deadly; poisonous.
injurious to peace, morals, etc.; pernicious.
troublesome, annoying, or mischievous.
Historical Examples

That’s fine by my troth, these men have pestilent running heads then; do they speak as we do?
Beaumont & Fletcher’s Works (8 of 10) Francis Beaumont

Is it pestilent Machiuilian pollicie that thou hast studied?
Elizabethan and Jacobean Pamphlets Various

He loved it, indignant when pestilent modernism hurried the tempo or took liberties with the well-known score.
Ruskin Relics W. G. Collingwood

American law to most of them is but a pestilent thing to be evaded.
Historic Towns of the Western States Various

“And a pestilent knave,” concluded a fiery-faced man whom Anthony did not know.
By What Authority? Robert Hugh Benson

The true beggar, as I have said, is not often annoyed by these pestilent callers.
Beggars W. H. (William Henry) Davies

On that pestilent and wild Isthmus there had been very little chance to make up for the disadvantages of his youth.
The Spanish Pioneers Charles F. Lummis

Never had I ventured into so pestilent and forbidding a place.
The Mystery of Cloomber Arthur Conan Doyle

He had a most pestilent trick of perpetually playing monitor, to the wet-blanketing of all good fellowship.
A Great Emergency and Other Tales Juliana Horatia Gatty Ewing

I have little doubt that this scullery was a pestilent place.
The Record of Nicholas Freydon A. J. (Alec John) Dawson

annoying; irritating
highly destructive morally or physically; pernicious
infected with or likely to cause epidemic or infectious disease

late 14c., from Latin pestilentem (nominative pestilens), from pestilis “of the nature of a plague,” from pestis “deadly contagious disease” (see pest (n.)). Related: Pestilently.


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