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90s Slang You Should Know


[pes-tl-uh nt] /ˈpɛs tl ənt/
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
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin pestilent- (stem of pestilēns) unhealthy, noxious, alteration of pestilentus, equivalent to pesti- (stem of pestis) pest + -lentus -lent
Related forms
pestilently, adverb
antipestilent, adjective
antipestilently, adverb
nonpestilent, adjective
nonpestilently, adverb
unpestilent, adjective
unpestilently, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pestilent
Historical Examples
  • That's fine by my troth, these men have pestilent running heads then; do they speak as we do?

  • Is it pestilent Machiuilian pollicie that thou hast studied?

  • He loved it, indignant when pestilent modernism hurried the tempo or took liberties with the well-known score.

    Ruskin Relics W. G. Collingwood
  • American law to most of them is but a pestilent thing to be evaded.

  • "And a pestilent knave," concluded a fiery-faced man whom Anthony did not know.

    By What Authority? Robert Hugh Benson
  • The true beggar, as I have said, is not often annoyed by these pestilent callers.

    Beggars W. H. (William Henry) Davies
  • On that pestilent and wild Isthmus there had been very little chance to make up for the disadvantages of his youth.

    The Spanish Pioneers Charles F. Lummis
  • Never had I ventured into so pestilent and forbidding a place.

    The Mystery of Cloomber Arthur Conan Doyle
  • He had a most pestilent trick of perpetually playing monitor, to the wet-blanketing of all good fellowship.

    A Great Emergency and Other Tales Juliana Horatia Gatty Ewing
  • I have little doubt that this scullery was a pestilent place.

    The Record of Nicholas Freydon A. J. (Alec John) Dawson
British Dictionary definitions for pestilent


annoying; irritating
highly destructive morally or physically; pernicious
infected with or likely to cause epidemic or infectious disease
Derived Forms
pestilently, adverb
Word Origin
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
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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
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