- producing or tending to produce infectious or contagious, often epidemic, disease; pestilential.
- destructive to life; deadly; poisonous.
- injurious to peace, morals, etc.; pernicious.
- troublesome, annoying, or mischievous.
Origin of pestilent
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for pestilent
She would have been out holiday-making (as I settled it) but for the pestilent rain.The Uncommercial Traveller
The pestilent coxcomb has his uses, and his uses, like adversity's, are sweet.The Lion's Skin
But how was this pestilent young cub of an Englishman to be got rid of?The Cruise of the Thetis
Is it pestilent Machiuilian pollicie that thou hast studied?
Then he was liable to be seized and put to death as a pestilent heretic.
- annoying; irritating
- highly destructive morally or physically; pernicious
- infected with or likely to cause epidemic or infectious disease
C15: from Latin pestilens unwholesome, from pestis plague
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
Word Origin and History for pestilent
late 14c., from Latin pestilentem (nominative pestilens), from pestilis "of the nature of a plague," from pestis "deadly contagious disease" (see pest (n.)). Related: Pestilently.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper