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[pest] /pɛst/
an annoying or troublesome person, animal, or thing; nuisance.
an insect or other small animal that harms or destroys garden plants, trees, etc.
a deadly epidemic disease, especially a plague; pestilence.
Origin of pest
First recorded in 1545-55, pest is from the Latin word pestis plague
Related forms
de-pest, verb (used with object)
1. annoyance. 3. pandemic, scourge, epidemic.


[pest; Hungarian pesht] /pɛst; Hungarian pɛʃt/
See under Budapest.


[boo-duh-pest, boo-duh-pest; Hungarian boo -do-pesht] /ˈbu dəˌpɛst, ˌbu dəˈpɛst; Hungarian ˈbʊ dɒˌpɛʃt/
a city in and the capital of Hungary, in the central part, on the Danube River: formed 1873 from two cities on the W bank of the Danube (Buda and Obuda) and one on the E bank (Pest) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pest
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He passed on unsuspected and deadly, like a pest in the street full of men.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • She is a demon now, and the pest of married women and their babies.'

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • Thus he kept it up for years, and was a pest throughout the neighborhood.

  • And then that pest of an office boy began shouting his name.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • Two methods of control have been developed to keep this pest under.

  • To us they are as vermin, a pest upon the face of the earth.

    The Traitors

    E. Phillips (Edward Phillips) Oppenheim
British Dictionary definitions for pest


a person or thing that annoys, esp by imposing itself when it is not wanted; nuisance
  1. any organism that damages crops, injures or irritates livestock or man, or reduces the fertility of land
  2. (as modifier): pest control
(rare) an epidemic disease or pestilence
Word Origin
C16: from Latin pestis plague, of obscure origin


/ˌbjuːdəˈpɛst; Hungarian ˈbudɔpɛʃt/
the capital of Hungary, on the River Danube: formed in 1873 from the towns of Buda and Pest. Traditionally Buda, the old Magyar capital, was the administrative and Pest the trade centre: suffered severely in the Russian siege of 1945 and in the unsuccessful revolt against the Communist regime (1956). Pop: 1 719 342 (2003 est)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pest

1550s (in imprecations, "a pest upon ____," etc.), "plague, pestilence," from Middle French peste (1530s), from Latin pestis "deadly contagious disease; a curse, bane," of uncertain origin. Meaning "noxious or troublesome person or thing" first recorded c.1600.


Hungarian capital, formed 1872 from merger of two cities on opposite shores of the Danube, Buda (probably from a word originally meaning "water") + Pest, a Hungarian word meaning "furnace, oven, cove," also in Slavic (cf. Russian pech'). Cf. Ofen, literally "oven," the old German name for the place.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pest in Medicine

pest (pěst)

  1. An injurious plant or animal, especially one harmful to humans.

  2. A deadly epidemic disease; a pestilence.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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pest in Culture
Budapest [(booh-duh-pest, booh-duh-pesht)]

Capital of Hungary and largest city in the country, located in north-central Hungary on both banks of the Danube River; the industrial, cultural, and transportation center of Hungary.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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