[pes-tl-uh nt]


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 formspes·ti·lent·ly, adverban·ti·pes·ti·lent, adjectivean·ti·pes·ti·lent·ly, adverbnon·pes·ti·lent, adjectivenon·pes·ti·lent·ly, adverbun·pes·ti·lent, adjectiveun·pes·ti·lent·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pestilent

Historical Examples of pestilent

British Dictionary definitions for pestilent



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

Word Origin for pestilent

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

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