• synonyms


[pe-stif-er-uh s]
See more synonyms for pestiferous on Thesaurus.com
  1. bringing or bearing disease.
  2. pestilential.
  3. pernicious; evil.
  4. Informal. mischievous; troublesome or annoying.
Show More

Origin of pestiferous

1425–75; late Middle English < Latin pestiferus plague-bringing, equivalent to pesti- (stem of pestis) pest + -ferus -ferous
Related formspes·tif·er·ous·ly, adverbpes·tif·er·ous·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for pestiferous

Historical Examples

  • "You pestiferous gnats insisted on grabbing the ball," he sneered.

    The Galaxy Primes

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • We need all the people we can get, but they are a pestiferous outfit.

  • "You are a pestiferous son-in-law," said Warren, as Lyman entered the room.

    Old Ebenezer

    Opie Read

  • But need one's love for things English include this pestiferous sparrow?

    Wild Life Near Home

    Dallas Lore Sharp

  • Some species of this genus are pestiferous weeds all over the world.

British Dictionary definitions for pestiferous


  1. informal troublesome; irritating
  2. breeding, carrying, or spreading infectious disease
  3. corrupting; pernicious
Show More
Derived Formspestiferously, adverbpestiferousness, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin pestifer, from pestis contagious disease, pest + ferre to bring
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 pestiferous


mid-15c., "mischievous, pernicious," figurative use of Latin pestiferus "that brings plague or destruction," variant of pestifer "bringing plague, destructive, noxious," from pestis "plague" (see pest) + ferre "carry" (see infer). Related: Pestiferously; pestiferousness.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pestiferous in Medicine


  1. Producing or breeding infectious disease.
  2. Infected with or contaminated by an epidemic disease.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.