See also: Pestilence
- Any epidemic disease that is highly contagious, infectious, virulent and devastating.
- Synonym: murrain
- 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"
- 1831 July 15, “Of the Blood”, in Western Journal of Health, volume 4, number 1, L. B. Lincoln, page 38:
- It was reserved for Christians to torture bread, the staff of life, bread for which children in whole districts wail, bread, the gift of pasture to the poor, bread, for want of which thousands of our fellow beings annually perish by famine; it was reserved for Christians to torture the material of bread by fire, to create a chemical and maddening poison, burning up the brain and brutalizing the soul, and producing evils to humanity, in comparison of which, war, pestilence, and famine, cease to be evils.
- 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.
- (archaic) Anything harmful to morals or public order.
any highly contagious epidemic disease
- pestilence in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- pestilence in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
pestilence f (plural pestilences)
- “pestilence” in Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).
- pestilence (epidemic disease)