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
Many of the series' most pernicious bugbears have been dumped.
Pfeifer and her colleagues have shown that edges are more pernicious, and their influence extends far deeper into a forest.
This leads to the most pernicious effect of the argument.
But the most pernicious forms of the disease are the kind exhibited by Ditka.
Worse, the Obama administration’s public defense of DACA was deeply pernicious to the constitutional order.
But his studies have illustrated that white supremacy is pernicious, intractable and essential to the nation’s identity.
This may be one reason for the ferocious pressure by so many current feminists to reinforce the Stalinist mechanisms, the pernicious PC rules that have invaded colleges everywhere.
And that means that no matter how pernicious the effects of microtargeting ads are, a practice that’s only possible through vast corporate data collection, the chances of Congress taking substantive action to abate those harms is slim.
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
PERNICIOUS Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up pernicious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).