pernicious [per-nish-uhs] SynonymsExamplesWord Origin adjective

  1. causing insidious harm or ruin; ruinous; injurious; hurtful: pernicious teachings; a pernicious lie.
  2. deadly; fatal: a pernicious disease.
  3. Obsolete. evil; wicked.

Origin of pernicious 1515–25; Latin perniciōsus ruinous, equivalent to pernici(ēs) ruin (per- per- + -nici-, combining form of nex death, murder (stem nec-) + -iēs noun suffix) + -ōsus -ous Related formsper·ni·cious·ly, adverbper·ni·cious·ness, nounun·per·ni·cious, adjectiveun·per·ni·cious·ly, adverbSynonyms for pernicious 1. harmful, detrimental, deleterious, destructive, damaging, baneful, noxious, malicious. 2. lethal. Examples from the Web for perniciously Contemporary Examples of perniciously

  • Not long ago, polite society had only begun to tolerate slamming the Electoral College as a perniciously quaint old institution.

    Disunited and Without States

    James Poulos

    January 4, 2014

  • Historical Examples of perniciously

  • And probably I’ve behaved more foolishly and perniciously than ever you will.

    Fantasia of the Unconscious

    D. H. Lawrence

  • In these matters his aims were generous, if his methods were perniciously mistaken.


    Francis Thompson

  • He explained that Allen had been a feeble speculator, but plausible, of personal good faith, and perniciously sanguine.

    The Pillars of the House, Vol. II (of 2)

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • These indefinite expressions operated powerfully and perniciously on his imagination.

    Tales And Novels, Volume 5 (of 10)

    Maria Edgeworth

  • But Supermanism is heresy, and it rapidly spread over the world, most perniciously influencing all intellectual life.

    Literature in the Making


  • British Dictionary definitions for perniciously pernicious adjective

    1. wicked or maliciouspernicious lies
    2. causing grave harm; deadly

    Derived Formsperniciously, adverbperniciousness, nounWord Origin for pernicious C16: from Latin perniciōsus, from perniciēs ruin, from per- (intensive) + nex death Word Origin and History for perniciously pernicious adj.

    early 15c., from Middle French pernicios (13c., Modern French pernicieux) and directly from Latin perniciosus “destructive,” from pernicies “destruction, death, ruin,” from per- “completely” (see per) + necis “violent death, murder,” related to necare “to kill,” nocere “to hurt, injure, harm,” noxa “harm, injury” (see noxious). Related: Perniciously; perniciousness.

    perniciously in Medicine pernicious [pər-nĭsh′əs] adj.

    1. Tending to cause death or serious injury; deadly.

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