• IPA: /ˈpɛstələn(t)s/, /ˈpɛstɪlən(t)s/, /ˈpɛstlən(t)s/


  1. Any epidemic disease that is highly contagious, infectious, virulent and devastating.
    • 1826, Mary Shelley, The Last Man, part 2, chapter 2
      "Take it, Christian dogsǃ take the palaces, the gardens, the mosques, the abode of our fathers - take plague with them; pestilence is the enemy we fly; if she be your friend, hug her to your bosoms. The curse of Allah is on Stamboul, share ye her fateǃ"
    • 1949 - Bruce Kiskaddon, George R. Stewart, Earth Abides
      The snowshoe-rabbits build up through the years until they reach a climax when they seem to be everywhere; then with dramatic suddenness their pestilence falls upon them.
  2. (archaic) Anything harmful to morals or public order.
Related terms Translations
Proper noun
  1. The personification of pestilence, often depicted riding a white horse.

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