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From Ancient Greek δηλητήριος (dēlētḗrios, noxious, deleterious), from δηλητήρ (dēlētḗr, a destroyer), from δηλέομαι (dēléomai, I hurt, damage, spoil, waste).



deleterious (comparative more deleterious, superlative most deleterious)

  1. Harmful often in a subtle or unexpected way.
    Synonyms: destructive, harmful, hurtful, injurious, noxious, pernicious
    deleterious effects
    deleterious to someone's health
    • 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne, “chapter XV”, in The Scarlet Letter:
      Or might it suffice him, that every wholesome growth should be converted into something deleterious and malignant at his touch?
    • 2017 September, Jean M. Twenge, “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?”, in The Atlantic[1]:
      The advent of the smartphone and its cousin the tablet was followed quickly by hand-wringing about the deleterious effects of “screen time.” But the impact of these devices has not been fully appreciated, and goes far beyond the usual concerns about curtailed attention spans.

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