from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A usually fatal epidemic disease, especially bubonic plague.
- n. A pernicious, evil influence or agent.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any epidemic disease that is highly contagious, infectious, virulent and devastating.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Specifically, the disease known as the plague; hence, any contagious or infectious epidemic disease that is virulent and devastating.
- n. Fig.: That which is pestilent, noxious, or pernicious to the moral character of great numbers.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The disease called the plague or pest; also, any epidemic malignant disease.
- n. That which is pestilential or pestiferous; that which produces or tends to produce malignant disease.
- n. That which is morally pestilent; that which is mischievous, noxious, or malignant in any respect.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. 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
- n. a pernicious and malign influence that is hard to get rid of
- n. any epidemic disease with a high death rate
From Middle English, from Old French, from Latin pestilentia ("plague"), from pestilens ("infected, unwholesome, noxious"); see pestilent. (Wiktionary)