[syn: pestilence, canker]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Pestilence \Pes"ti*lence\, n. [F. pestilence, L. pestilentia.
1. Specifically, the disease known as the plague; hence, any
contagious or infectious epidemic disease that is virulent
The pestilence that walketh in darkness. --Ps. xci.
2. Fig.: That which is pestilent, noxious, or pernicious to
the moral character of great numbers.
I'll pour this pestilence into his ear. --Shak.
Pestilence weed (Bot.), the butterbur coltsfoot (Petasites
vulgaris), so called because formerly considered a remedy
for the plague. --Dr. Prior.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: 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 [syn:
plague, pestilence, pest, pestis]
2: any epidemic disease with a high death rate [syn: plague,
3: a pernicious and malign influence that is hard to get rid of;
"racism is a pestilence at the heart of the nation";
"according to him, I was the canker in their midst" [syn:
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
52 Moby Thesaurus words for "pestilence":
Black Death, affliction, ambulatory plague, bane, black death,
black plague, blight, bubonic plague, bugbear, burden, calamity,
cancer, canker, cellulocutaneous plague, crushing burden, curse,
death, defervescing plague, destruction, disease, epidemic,
epiphytotic, epizootic, evil, glandular plague, grievance, harm,
hemorrhagic plague, infliction, larval plague, murrain, nemesis,
open wound, pandemia, pandemic, pest, pesthole, plague,
plague spot, pneumonic plague, premonitory plague, running sore,
scourge, septicemic plague, siderating plague, thorn, torment,
tuberculosis, vexation, visitation, white plague, woe