Definitions

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

  • adjective Producing or breeding infectious disease.
  • adjective Infected with or contaminated by an epidemic disease.
  • adjective Morally evil or deadly; pernicious.
  • adjective Bothersome; annoying.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Plague-bearing; pestilential; infectious; contagious: as, pestiferous particles.
  • Noxious in any manner; mischievous; malignant; annoying.

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

  • adjective Pest-bearing; pestilential; noxious to health; malignant; infectious; contagious.
  • adjective Noxious to peace, to morals, or to society; vicious; hurtful; destructive.

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

  • adjective containing organisms that cause contagious diseases
  • adjective annoying, vexatious

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

  • adjective contaminated with infecting organisms
  • adjective causing irritation or annoyance
  • adjective tending to corrupt or pervert
  • adjective likely to spread and cause an epidemic disease

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Latin pestiferus, variant of pestifer : pestis, pestilence; see pest + -fer, -fer.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Mid 15th century, in sense “mischievous, pernicious”, from Latin pestiferus ("bearing plague"), from pestifer, from pestis ("plague") + ferre ("carry") (see infer).

Examples

  • Vermont's record on the slavery issue was so strong that Georgia's legislature resolved that a ditch be dug around the "pestiferous" state and it be floated out to sea.

    The Independent Republic of Vermont

  • He had hitched his wagon to a star and been landed in a pestiferous marsh.

    Chapter 41

  • In his call for a crusade, Innocent III denounced the Cathars as “pestiferous men.”

    Bloodlust

  • In his call for a crusade, Innocent III denounced the Cathars as “pestiferous men.”

    Bloodlust

  • Even pestiferous snow geese should be hunted with respect, not shot like rats or starlings.

    Bourjaily on Goose Hunting with a Rake

  • To me this sounds like the voice of privilege complaining about how annoying it is to deal with those pestiferous people who keep pointing out how unfair the privilege is.

    Chip Berlet: Abstaining from Bad Sects

  • To me this sounds like the voice of privilege complaining about how annoying it is to deal with those pestiferous people who keep pointing out how unfair the privilege is.

    Chip Berlet: Abstaining from Bad Sects

  • “Let us say a bond of, oh, only a pound, because she caused some trouble to that pestiferous printer Franklin.”

    The Secret of the Sealed Room

  • All decent and patriotic Americans can now only hope that this will reinforce the Post's image as the champion of the Watergate exposure and an example of the integrity of America's fee (oops!) press, and, moreover, that it finally stills those pestiferous agitators, single-payer advocates, peaceniks, and other such rabble-rousers.

    The Washington Post: Paragon of the Fee Press

  • The place was of the most ricketty description, and situated in the midst of filthy and pestiferous nuisances.

    James Catnach, Ballad-monger, Part 1

Comments

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  • For some reason, whenever I hear this word I mentally pair it with 'varmint.'

    July 24, 2008

  • *hork*

    July 24, 2008