Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An annoying person or thing; a nuisance.
  • noun An organism, typically an insect, that sickens or annoys humans, hampers human activities, damages crops or food products, harms livestock, or causes damage to buildings.
  • noun A deadly epidemic disease; a pestilence.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Plague; pestilence; a deadly epidemic disease.
  • noun Any very noxious, mischievous, or destructive thing, or a mischievous, destructive, very annoying, or troublesome person.
  • noun Synonyms Infection.
  • noun Scourge, nuisance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A fatal epidemic disease; a pestilence; specif., the plague.
  • noun Anything which resembles a pest; one who, or that which, is troublesome, noxious, mischievous, or destructive; a nuisance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun originally A plague, pestilence, epidemic
  • noun An annoying, harmful, often destructive creature.
  • noun An annoying person.
  • noun UK, slang Someone with poor social discipline who continually bothers disinterested women.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a serious (sometimes fatal) infection of rodents caused by Yersinia pestis and accidentally transmitted to humans by the bite of a flea that has bitten an infected animal
  • noun a persistently annoying person
  • noun any epidemic disease with a high death rate
  • noun any unwanted and destructive insect or other animal that attacks food or crops or livestock etc.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French peste, pestilence, from Old French, from Latin pestis.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French peste (=modern French), from Latin pestis

Examples

  • The term pest derives from the Latin pestis for plague and is used to describe plants (weeds), vertebrates, insects, mites, pathogens and other organisms that occur where we do not want them.

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  • The flea we might now regard as a pest, and the rat upon which the flea rode we would also classify as a pest, but back then, the word pest didn't apply to either.

    podictionary - for word lovers - dictionary etymology, trivia & history

  • Officially known as the brown marmorated stink bug, the pest is native to Asia and was discovered in Pennsylvania in 1998, according to entomologists at Penn State University.

    Stink bug: A home invader that lives up to its name

  • I find it very amusing that the TV special about the next supercomet destroying the planet is sponsered by Orkin, the leader in pest control.

    *raining*

  • I called my pest control company and they came right out and took care of these crazy little guys. they were starting to take over my backyard behind my pool… luckily they were killed before they got to my pool pump- apparently that is costly. my pest control company totally got rid of them, their name is Proguard Pest control. love them!

    A Plague of Ants in Houston - The Lede Blog - NYTimes.com

  • I called my pest control company and they came right out and took care of these crazy little guys. they were starting to take over my backyard behind my pool… luckily they were killed before they got to my pool pump- apparently that is costly. my pest control company totally got rid of them, their name is Proguard Pest control. love them!

    A Plague of Ants in Houston - The Lede Blog - NYTimes.com

  • Someone wants a computer but neither pillar nor pest is willing to leave of their own accord if the other one can stay ... so ...

    I hate bureaucracy...

  • The most attractive biological control technique is the introduction and permanent establishment of exotic species for long term pest suppression (known as classical biological control) because once in place no further input is required.

    1. Designing integrated pest management for sustainable and productive futures.

  • When we called the pest control company, the manager was perplexed.

    The Washington Post: National, World & D.C. Area News and Headlines - The Washington Post

  • "We called the pest control company," said Sharon Cao, spokeswoman for the restaurant.

    Kansas City Star: Front Page

Comments

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  • The eastern part of Hungary's capital, divided from Buda by the Danube river.

    January 1, 2008

  • PEsT

    April 25, 2008

  • Norwegian for plague

    March 17, 2009

  • So do you think I came to fight?

    And do I always think I’m right?

    Oh no I never meant to be a pest to anyone this time

    Oh no I only meant to be a friend to everyone this time

    ("Heirloom", by Sufjan Stephens)

    March 8, 2011