1. an annoying or troublesome person, animal, or thing; nuisance.
  2. an insect or other small animal that harms or destroys garden plants, trees, etc.
  3. 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 formsde-pest, verb (used with object)

Synonyms for pest Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for depest


  1. 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
  2. rare an epidemic disease or pestilence

Word Origin for pest

C16: from Latin pestis plague, of obscure origin
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 depest



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

depest in Medicine


  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.