• WordNet 3.6
    • n pestilence 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"
    • n pestilence any epidemic disease with a high death rate
    • n pestilence 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
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Pestilence Fig.: That which is pestilent, noxious, or pernicious to the moral character of great numbers. "I'll pour this pestilence into his ear."
    • Pestilence Specifically, the disease known as the plague; hence, any contagious or infectious epidemic disease that is virulent and devastating. "The pestilence That walketh in darkness."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n pestilence The disease called the plague or pest; also, any epidemic malignant disease.
    • n pestilence That which is pestilential or pestiferous; that which produces or tends to produce malignant disease.
    • n pestilence That which is morally pestilent; that which is mischievous, noxious, or malignant in any respect.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Pestilence any contagious deadly disease: anything that is hurtful to the morals
    • ***


  • William Blake
    “He who desires but does not act, breeds pestilence.”
  • William Blake
    “Energy is an eternal delight, and he who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.”
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley
    “Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whatever it touches.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. pestilence, L. pestilentia,. See Pestilent
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. peste—L. pestis, a contagious disease.


In literature:

A murrain of cattle followed, and the poor were dying of hunger and pestilence.
"The History of England" by T.F. Tout
Of the pestilence that afflicted mankind, and how some of our Brothers died in this plague.
"The Chronicle of the Canons Regular of Mount St. Agnes" by Thomas a Kempis
Such was the course of the pestilence in the Roman empire at large as well as in Byzantium.
"History of the Wars, Books I and II (of 8)" by Procopius
Why do you avoid me as if I were a pestilence?
"Destiny" by Charles Neville Buck
In 1524 by a raging pestilence and by a two-fold change of ruler.
"Jerome Cardan" by William George Waters
A pestilence followed soon after, which ravaged Rome and all Italy.
"A Smaller History of Rome" by William Smith and Eugene Lawrence
Sime, the man is a pestilence!
"Brood of the Witch-Queen" by Sax Rohmer
The pestilence during that year afforded a quiet in other matters.
"The History of Rome, Books 01 to 08" by Titus Livius
This apparition appeared every night for a week, and was pronounced by certain wise sages as a presage of pestilence and death.
"The Mysteries of All Nations" by James Grant
The fourth ahau; the pestilence, the general death, took place in the fortress.
"The Maya Chronicles" by Various

In poetry:

No snare, no fowler, pestilence or pain;
No night drops down upon the troubled breast,
When heaven's aftersmile earth's tear-drops gain,
And mother finds her home and heav'nly rest.
"Mother’s Evening Prayer" by Mary Baker Eddy
The river stagnates, pestilent
With carrion by the current sent
This way and that--and yonder lies
The moon, just like a woman dead,
That they have smothered overhead,
Deep in the skies.
"The Fishermen" by Emile Verhaeren
While Judgment, in pestilence, famine and sword,
Might well have rebuked us for folly and sin,
Thy Mercy hath triumph'd, and fed us, good Lord!
With plenty and health and contentment within.
"Harvest Hymn: A Third" by Martin Farquhar Tupper
Whore who in her icy shivers sheds a still-born child.
With raving whips God's fury punishes brows possessed.
Purple pestilence, hunger that breaks green eyes.
Oh, the horrible laughter of gold.
"To The Silenced" by Georg Trakl
Then, turn ye! Oh, turn ye! for why will ye die?
Ye shrink from the plague when its advent is nigh—
The Indian pestilence, the plague of old Nile—
Less deadly by far than the Plague of our Isle!
"The Plague of Our Isle" by Janet Hamilton
The frogs had come as things bewitched; an army without fear
They had broken through the rushes their upward way to take;
And each one followed steadily a voice no man could hear--
While poisoned wind and pestilence came swiftly in their wake.
"In Egypt" by Virna Sheard

In news:

Christopher Smith's 14th century period chiller, named for the continent-spanning pestilence that notoriously wiped out half of Europe, isn't exactly an upper.
Horror filmmaker Christopher Smith plays with the notion of necromancers and demons lurking within the pestilence, but winds up retreating into a kind of historical morality tale.
Pestilence, witches, necromancy — " Black Death " should be more fun than it is.
Pestilence, witches, necromancy — "Black Death" should be more fun than it is.
The ominous tone of the ads suggests Big Oil is as great a threat as war, pestilence, famine, and Kardashian reruns.
Peerlessly beautiful places that have been the scenes of, respectively, terrorist atrocity, civil strife and pestilence.
A crowd at a horror-movie premiere settles in for a tale of demons, disturbed from ancient slumber, transmitting infectious possession with their pestilent, snapping jaws.
IN THE BOOK of Revelation, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are Pestilence, War, Famine and Death.
Scanning the horizon for signs of the apocalypse, we don't see any plague, pestilence, or marks of the beast.
'I am waiting for the locusts and pestilence next'.
Si Leis and 'Satanic Pestilence '.
Saturday Night Fever, Famine and Pestilence .
Famine, Pestilence, Destruction, and Earl Williams.
There's no troubles with pestilence or pirates.
When Peter Piper planted his peppers , he may have plotted a plan against pests and pestilence in one of these ways.