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Noun: pestilence  pe-stu-lun(t)s
  1. 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
    - plague, pest, pestis
  2. Any epidemic disease with a high death rate
    - plague, pest
  3. A pernicious and malign influence that is hard to get rid of
    "racism is a pestilence at the heart of the nation";
    - canker

Derived forms: pestilences

Type of: epidemic disease, influence

Encyclopedia: Pestilence