1 any epidemic disease with a high death rate [syn: plague]
2 a pernicious evil influence
- Any epidemic disease that is highly contagious, infectious, virulent and devastating.
A pestilence is any virulent and highly infectious disease that can cause an epidemic or even a pandemic. The word can also be used about parasites causing large scale sickness and death, such as Guinea worm.
Originally the word referred to the bubonic plague, which is called pestis in Latin.
It can also refer to:
pestilence in Simple English: 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