Meaning of pestilence in English:


Pronunciation /ˈpɛstɪl(ə)ns/

See synonyms for pestilence

Translate pestilence into Spanish


  • A fatal epidemic disease, especially bubonic plague.

    ‘neither prayers nor demonstrations halted the advance of the pestilence’
    • ‘she died of pestilence’
    • ‘He argues that there is clear evidence for the pestilence having been plague, rather than other diseases that have been suggested such as anthrax.’
    • ‘The physician's challenge is the curing of disease, educating the people in the laws of health, and preventing the spread of plagues and pestilences.’
    • ‘He ordered the nearby swamps and marshes in the city of Salinus to be drained, in order to prevent an unknown pestilence, probably malaria.’
    • ‘Either the folk had died in the fire, died of the pestilence, or fled at first breath of either.’
    • ‘The pestilence that destroyed so much of our agriculture industry has left a long shadow, and no one would claim that everything today is back to normal.’
    plague, bubonic plague, the Black Death
    View synonyms


Middle English (also denoting something morally corrupting): from Old French, from Latin pestilentia, based on pestis ‘a plague’.