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

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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

The whole event was lousy with pestiferous Bible-banging. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "What I Saw Inside Roy Moore's Barn Burner," 12 Dec. 2017 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, "Transcendence in Ordinary Domestic Life," 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, "A Journey to Colombia’s Coffee Belt," 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.

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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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Time Traveler for pestiferous

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

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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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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pestiferous

Comments on pestiferous

What made you want to look up pestiferous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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