View synonyms for pestilence


[ pes-tl-uhns ]


  1. a deadly or virulent epidemic disease.
  2. something that is considered harmful, destructive, or evil.


/ ˈpɛstɪləns /


    1. any epidemic outbreak of a deadly and highly infectious disease, such as the plague
    2. such a disease
  1. an evil influence or idea

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Other Words From

  • anti·pesti·lence adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of pestilence1

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin pestilentia, from pestilent-, stem of pestilēns “unhealthy, noxious” ( pestilent ) + -ia -y 3( def )

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Example Sentences

He added a dramatic invocation to the gods to rain down pestilence, misfortune and curses on any later ruler who dared to contravene them.

From Time

We take our pets, pests and pestilence with us wherever we go, and we go everywhere.

This notion of pestilence as a “great equalizer” has remained in vogue ever since plague pop culture began.

In dramatic lore their names are Death, Destruction, Pestilence, and Famine.

In the meantime, I do kind of hope he wins Iowa, so that he can spread some of that pestilence around the GOP.

The coded “proofs” are everywhere: Floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and pestilence.

Cats, the Times told us, are a pestilence akin to gypsy moths and kudzu.

I cannot reconcile the idea of a tender Heavenly Father with the known horrors of war, slavery, pestilence, and insanity.

Only in the sensational moments of famine, flood or pestilence was a general social effort called forth.

There is still mademoiselle, with her new-formed friends in Paris—may a pestilence blight them all!

And I will strike the inhabitants of this city, men and beasts shall die of a great pestilence.

But even an age of war and pestilence could be observed without torment from behind the protective shields of the Time Machine.


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[ak-suh-lot-l ]

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