pes·​ti·​len·​tial | \ ˌpe-stə-ˈlen(t)-shəl How to pronounce pestilential (audio) \

Definition of pestilential

1a : causing or tending to cause pestilence : deadly
b : of or relating to pestilence
2 : morally harmful : pernicious
3 : giving rise to vexation or annoyance : irritating

Other Words from pestilential

pestilentially \ ˌpe-​stə-​ˈlen(t)-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce pestilential (audio) \ adverb

Examples of pestilential in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Spanish flu washed over the world in three pestilential waves during 1918 and 1919. Damon Linker, The Week, 23 June 2021 Our national experience with the role of state and local governments in casino gambling should have taught us that there is a world of difference between sensible reform and making government a revenue-seeking partner in a pestilential business. The Editors, National Review, 7 Dec. 2020 Adding to these burdens were the poor soil and periodic ravages of the pestilential boll weevil. Trevor Paulhus, Smithsonian, 19 Sep. 2019 But what if there is scant succor to be had, and our true natures are not noble but necrotic, pestilential? Constance Grady, Vox, 17 Nov. 2018 The classic treatise helped change public opinion of the Everglades from a pestilential swamp to a treasure that not only provides a home to distinctive flora and fauna but serves as the primary water source for the millions of residents of Florida. Chelsea Greenwood Lassman, Teen Vogue, 1 Mar. 2018 The academic writes a proposal for a research center where these ideas can be given a pestilential foothold, a source of viral infection hidden in a legitimate academic setting. James Freeman, WSJ, 19 Oct. 2017 There are other pestilential concerns, among them dengue fever and chikungunya, a virus that swept through the Caribbean a few years ago. Matthew Segal, Los Angeles Magazine, 13 Sep. 2017 But unlike other animals tagged as invasive and pestilential — like Burmese pythons, feral hogs, and snakehead fish — mute swans are widely beloved. Brandon Keim, WIRED, 6 Feb. 2014 See More

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

First Known Use of pestilential

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of pestilential was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Pestilential.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for pestilential


pes·​ti·​len·​tial | \ ˌpes-tə-ˈlen-chəl How to pronounce pestilential (audio) \

Medical Definition of pestilential

1 : causing or tending to cause pestilence
2 : of or relating to pestilence


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