pestiferous

adjective

pes·​tif·​er·​ous pe-ˈsti-f(ə-)rəs How to pronounce pestiferous (audio)
1
: dangerous to society : pernicious
2
a
: carrying or propagating infection : pestilential
b
: infected with a pestilential disease
3
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 Structured as entries in Emily’s field journal, the novel lays out her aims, her curmudgeonly nature and her pestiferous relationship with one Wendell Bambleby — a charismatic fellow researcher and sometime rival who Emily suspects is a fairy himself. Amal El-Mohtar, New York Times, 14 Apr. 2023 Disease relies on a variety of pestiferous vectors for the transmission of infective bacteria. Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 31 May 2016 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pestiferous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near pestiferous

Cite this Entry

“Pestiferous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pestiferous. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

pestiferous

adjective
pes·​tif·​er·​ous pes-ˈtif-(ə-)rəs How to pronounce pestiferous (audio)
1
: dangerous to society : pernicious
2

Medical Definition

pestiferous

adjective
pes·​tif·​er·​ous pes-ˈtif-(ə-)rəs How to pronounce pestiferous (audio)
1
: carrying or propagating infection : pestilential
a pestiferous insect
2
: infected with a pestilential disease
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