pes·​tif·​er·​ous | \ pe-ˈsti-f(ə-)rəs How to pronounce pestiferous (audio) \

Definition of pestiferous

1 : dangerous to society : pernicious
2a : carrying or propagating infection : pestilential
b : infected with a pestilential disease

Other Words from pestiferous

pestiferously adverb
pestiferousness noun

Examples of pestiferous in a Sentence

a pestiferous weed that has given gardeners no end of grief
Recent Examples on the Web After the Thirty Years’ War (1618-48), the Dutch were probably eager for reminders of ordinary domestic life, even pestiferous ones, and for images of quiet and tenderness. Willard Spiegelman, WSJ, 18 Aug. 2017 Mr. Marín said three factors favored his coffee: the elevation, which is high enough to keep pestiferous coffee borer bugs at bay; the humidity, which stems from passing clouds that provide a steady stream of moisture; and the red soil. Gustave Axelson, New York Times, 7 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pestiferous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of pestiferous

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pestiferous

Middle English, from Latin pestifer pestilential, noxious, from pestis + -fer -ferous

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The first known use of pestiferous was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Pestiferous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for pestiferous


pes·​tif·​er·​ous | \ pes-ˈtif-(ə-)rəs How to pronounce pestiferous (audio) \

Medical Definition of pestiferous

1 : carrying or propagating infection : pestilential a pestiferous insect
2 : infected with a pestilential disease


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