Examples of pernicious in a Sentence
- The notion that poll data are a legitimate form of news has to be one of the most pernicious tenets of late-twentieth-century American journalism … —Barbara Ehrenreich, Nation, 20 Nov. 1995
- The more it [the Papacy] took part in the temporal conflicts with consistently pernicious result, the more impotent among the monarchs it revealed itself … —Barbara W. Tuchman, The March of Folly, 1984
- At its most pernicious, paper entrepreneurialism involves little more than imposing losses on others for the sake of short-term profits for the firm. —Robert B. Reich, Atlantic, March 1983
More pernicious still has been the acceptance of the author's controversial ideas by the general public.
the pernicious effects of jealousy
She thinks television has a pernicious influence on our children.
Recent Examples of pernicious from the Web
It was provided as an example of the moral slippery slope and the pernicious logic that would face bureaucrats.
But then there are the pernicious patches of hair in hard-to-reach places (Back hair! Groin tufts!) that are much harder and more painful—but not impossible—to keep in check.
David Autor, the MIT economics professor who famously showed the pernicious effects of free-trade deals on Midwestern communities, is one.
Norberto Galiotti, the cigar-smoking secretary of Rosario’s Communist Party, regards the foundation’s campaign as a part of a pernicious effort to erase Che from history, led by the country’s centre-right president, Mauricio Macri.
The implication seems obvious: While triadic populism is pernicious, dyadic populism is benign.
These videos became the basis for a pernicious rumor that Planned Parenthood was profiting from fetal remains—even though the videos were found to be manipulated and Planned Parenthood was cleared of all charges.
But their passage is uncertain, and activists argue that the law is so pernicious it should be revoked altogether.
As economist Joseph Stiglitz highlights in his recent book on the euro, the pernicious effects of this inflexibility have been compounded by distinctive characteristics of European institutions, including the design of its central bank.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pernicious.' 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.”
Synonymsadverse, bad, baleful, baneful, damaging, dangerous, deleterious, detrimental, evil, hurtful, ill, injurious, mischievous, nocuous, noxious, harmful, prejudicial, wicked
Antonymsanodyne, benign, harmless, hurtless, innocent, innocuous, inoffensive, safe
Related Wordshostile, inimical, unfriendly; contagious, deadly, infectious, infective, pestiferous, pestilent, pestilential, poisonous, venomous; insidious, menacing, ominous, sinister, threatening; hazardous, imperiling (or imperilling), jeopardizing, parlous, perilous, risky, unsafe, unsound; nasty, noisome, unhealthful, unhealthy, unwholesome; destructive, fatal, killer, lethal, malignant, ruinous
Near Antonymsadvantageous, beneficial, useful; favorable, good, propitious; curative, healthful, healthy, helpful, palliative, remedial, salubrious, salutary, wholesome; secure, sound; benignant; noncorrosive, nondestructive, nonfatal, noninfectious, nonlethal, nonpoisonous, nonpolluting, nontoxic, nonvenomous
Synonym Discussion of pernicious
- the claim that pornography has a pernicious effect on society
- the baneful notion that discipline destroys creativity
- noxious chemical fumes
- a diet found to have deleterious effects
- the detrimental effects of excessive drinking
PERNICIOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of pernicious for English Language Learners
: causing great harm or damage often in a way that is not easily seen or noticed
PERNICIOUS Defined for Kids
Definition of pernicious for Students
- a pernicious disease
- a pernicious habit
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