Examples of insidious in a Sentence
- But the litigation is also prompting a subtle and insidious change in the way that medicine is practiced, which affects anyone who consults a health professional, even if they would not dream of setting foot in a lawyer's office. It is known as "defensive medicine." —Geoff Watts, New Scientist, 23–29 Oct. 2004
- Spin is sometimes dismissed as a simple euphemism for lying. But it's actually something more insidious: indifference to the truth. —Michael Kinsley, Time, 25 Dec. 2000–1 Jan. 2001
- As these boats aged and bedding compounds deteriorated, the water torture began, which led to rot, corrosion, and other insidious problems. —Ralph Naranjo, Cruising World, April 1999
Most people with this insidious disease have no idea that they are infected.
Recent Examples of insidious from the Web
Beyond the stalking, harassment and doxxing (which still isn’t being addressed responsibly), lies insidious forms of racial and gendered trauma.
Murphy also said Trump has encouraged, not discouraged what Murphy called these insidious psychologies.
Prions are insidious proteins that spread like infectious agents and trigger fatal conditions such as mad cow disease.
On Sunday, dozens of people gathered to mourn the loss of another child to gun violence, the causes of which are deep and insidious.
Many do just that; the addiction is that insidious.
This last lie is maybe the most insidious, because no self-respecting man of any age should own martini glasses.
Your aunt’s behavior sounds slippery, insidious, and tough to nail down.
But SB 5 has another insidious purpose: to overturn a St. Louis ordinance that bans employers and landlords from discriminating against people on the basis of their reproductive health decisions.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'insidious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
insidious, sinister, or pernicious?
Few would choose to be associated with people or things that are insidious, sinister, or pernicious; all three of these words have decidedly unpleasant meanings, each with its own particular shade of nastiness.
Insidious comes from a Latin word for “ambush” (insidiae), which is fitting, as this word often carries the meanings “deceitful,” “stealthy,” or “harmful in an imperceptible fashion.” The first two meanings may be applied to people or things (“an insidious enemy,” “an insidious plot”), while the last is usually applied to things (“insidious problems,” “insidious sexism”), in particular to the gradual progress of a disease (“an insidious malignancy”).
Sinister comes from a Latin word meaning “on the left side, unlucky, inauspicious.” Although it is commonly used today in the sense “evil” (“a sinister cult leader”; “a sinister plot”), it may also suggest an ominous foreshadowing of some unfavorable turn of events (“a sinister omen”).
Pernicious has largely stayed true to its etymological root, the Latin noun pernicies “ruin, destruction.” Its original meaning in English, “highly injurious or destructive,” usually applies to things (“pernicious apathy,” “pernicious effects”) and medical conditions (“pernicious fever,” pernicious anemia). When applied to people, pernicious means “wicked.”
INSIDIOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of insidious for English Language Learners
: causing harm in a way that is gradual or not easily noticed
medical Definition of insidious
- an insidious disease
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