One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Harbouring infection and disease.‘the pestiferous area around the prison’
highly infectious, highly infective, highly contagious, infectious, infective, contagious, rapidly spreading, communicable, transmittable, transmissible, spreading, malignant, uncontrollable, pernicious, pestilentialView synonyms
- ‘Newly drafted in from Europe for the most part, they died like flies in the pestiferous climate.’
- ‘The doctor then went on to add with even further disgust, ‘the clinic has become as ubiquitous as the mosquito in a swamp and equally pestiferous.’’
- 1.1humorous Constituting a nuisance; very annoying.‘that pestiferous nephew of yours’
annoying, irritating, exasperating, maddening, infuriating, irksome, vexatious, vexing, inconvenient, bothersome, tiresome, worrying, worrisome, disturbing, upsetting, distressing, perturbing, concerning, niggling, naggingView synonyms
- ‘I was a librarian but I was the world's worst reference librarian. It was always my pleasure to tell the student to look it up for himself and not to bother me with his pestiferous inquiries.’
- ‘1 Happy the man who did not walk by the counsel of the impious, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit down in the seat of pestiferous people.’
Late Middle English (in the sense ‘morally corrupting’): from Latin pestifer ‘bringing pestilence’ + -ous.
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