pestilence

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pestilence

a. any epidemic outbreak of a deadly and highly infectious disease, such as the plague
b. such a disease

pestilence

[′pes·tə·ləns]
(medicine)
Any epidemic contagious disease.
Infection with the plague organism Pasteurella pestis.
References in classic literature ?
I am simply going to take you up above these clouds that are now deluging us, and remove you from this pestilential atmosphere.
"Now, if we had been compelled to go afoot over that drenched soil," said he, "we should still be dragging along in a pestilential mire.
The poor lunatic, it seems probable, had cherished a delusion that his haughty mistress sat in state, unharmed herself by the pestilential influence, which, as by enchantment, she scattered round about her.
And this horrible problem was only an extrane- ous episode, a mere complication in the general problem of how to get that ship--which was mine with her appurtenances and her men, with her body and her spirit now slumbering in that pestilential river--how to get her out to sea.
I heard: 'Military post--doctor--two hundred miles-- quite alone now--unavoidable delays--nine months--no news--strange rumors.' They approached again, just as the manager was saying, 'No one, as far as I know, unless a species of wandering trader--a pestilential fel- low, snapping ivory from the natives.' Who was it they were talking about now?
A day lost at the very best; but more likely a whole fortnight of frizzling on some pestilential mudflat, of desperate work, of discharging cargo; more than likely it meant borrowing money at an exorbitant rate of interest--from the Siegers' gang too at that.
It was like harbouring a pestilential disease that would not perhaps take your life, but would take from you all that made life worth living--a subtle pest that would convert earth into a hell.
Now that the whole ship's cargo were confined together [below deck], it became absolutely pestilential. The closeness of the place, and the heat of the climate, added to the number in the ship, which was so crowded that each had scarcely room to turn himself, almost suffocated us.
Chiu recognizes the considerable obstacles standing in his way--most notably, the unlikelihood of establishing with any certainty a corpus of "pestilential" works of music (p.
Because of this, the PCGG earned the sobriquet 'Pestilential Combination of Graft and Greed,' as some of those empowered by the Aquino government to sequester the alleged ill-gotten wealth of Marcos and his cronies transformed themselves, in just a few years, from virtual paupers, after emerging from their hideouts in the United States and other places with empty suitcases, to veritable taipans and arrogant politicians, complete with mansions, expensive cars and millions of pesos in bank accounts.
The swamp of the title insinuates many perilous things, including the patch of quick-sand in the forest that traps a mewling cow, soon set upon by dogs and pitiless children, and the brackish, perhaps pestilential swimming pool that lies along-side the crumbling rural mansion that serves as the film's primary setting: La Mandragora, appropriately named after both an ancient anesthetic and an equally old aphrodisiac, all desire long deadened by the in-house analgesics of alcohol and moral torpor.
"Fraser's volume feels as secure in its verisimilitude and necessary guesswork as those cozy fireside-reading sessions out there on the glorious prairie, that burning, pestilential, heartbreaking, health-sapping, dust-broiling, dark, and wintry prairie.