[ pe-stif-er-uh s ]
/ pɛˈstɪf ər əs /


bringing or bearing disease.
pernicious; evil.
Informal. mischievous; troublesome or annoying.

Nearby words

  1. pester,
  2. pester power,
  3. pesthole,
  4. pesthouse,
  5. pesticide,
  6. pestiferously,
  7. pestilence,
  8. pestilent,
  9. pestilential,
  10. pestle

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pestiferous

British Dictionary definitions for pestiferous


/ (pɛˈstɪfərəs) /


informal troublesome; irritating
breeding, carrying, or spreading infectious disease
corrupting; pernicious
Derived Formspestiferously, adverbpestiferousness, noun

Word Origin for pestiferous

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for pestiferous


[ pĕ-stĭfər-əs ]


Producing or breeding infectious disease.
Infected with or contaminated by an epidemic disease.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.