adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin perniciosus, from pernicies destruction, from per- + nec-, nex violent death — more at noxious Date: 15th century 1. highly injurious or destructive ; deadly 2. archaic wickedperniciously adverbperniciousness noun Synonyms: pernicious, baneful, noxious, deleterious, detrimental mean exceedingly harmful. pernicious implies irreparable harm done through evil or insidious corrupting or undermining <
the claim that pornography has a pernicious effect on society
. baneful implies injury through poisoning or destroying <
the baneful notion that discipline destroys creativity
. noxious applies to what is both offensive and injurious to the health of a body or mind <
noxious chemical fumes
. deleterious applies to what has an often unsuspected harmful effect <
a diet found to have deleterious effects
. detrimental implies obvious harmfulness to something specified <
the detrimental effects of excessive drinking

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • pernicious — pernicious, baneful, noxious, deleterious, detrimental are comparable when they mean exceedingly harmful but they differ as to the kind and extent of the potential for harm. Something is either pernicious or baneful which is irreparably harmful… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • pernicious — [pər nish′əs] adj. [Fr pernicieux < L perniciosus < pernicies, destruction < pernecare, to kill < per, thoroughly + necare, to kill: see NECRO ] 1. causing great injury, destruction, or ruin; fatal; deadly 2. Rare wicked; evil… …   English World dictionary

  • Pernicious — Per*ni cious, a. [L. perniciosus, from pernicies destruction, from pernecare to kill or slay outright; per + necare to kill, slay: cf. F. pernicieux. Cf. {Nuisance}, {Necromancy}.] Having the quality of injuring or killing; destructive; very… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pernicious — Per*ni cious, a. [L. pernix, icis.] Quick; swift (to burn). [R.] Milton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pernicious — I adjective adverse, affliciting, baleful, baneful, brutal, calamitous, catastrophic, corrosive, crippling, cruel, damaging, deadly, death bringing, death dealing, deathful, deathly, deleterious, destructive, detrimental, devouring, diabolic,… …   Law dictionary

  • pernicious — 1520s, from M.Fr. pernicios (13c., Fr. pernicieux), from L. perniciosus destructive, from pernicies destruction, death, ruin, from per completely + necis violent death, murder, related to necare to kill, nocere to hurt, injure, harm, noxa …   Etymology dictionary

  • pernicious — [adj] bad, hurtful baleful, damaging, dangerous, deadly, deleterious, destructive, detrimental, devastating, evil, fatal, harmful, iniquitous, injurious, killing, lethal, maleficent, malevolent, malicious, malign, malignant, miasmatic, miasmic,… …   New thesaurus

  • pernicious — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ having a harmful effect, especially in a gradual or subtle way. DERIVATIVES perniciously adverb perniciousness noun. ORIGIN Latin perniciosus destructive …   English terms dictionary

  • pernicious — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) adj. malign, ruinous, poisonous, detrimental, injurious, harmful; wicked. See badness. II (Roget s IV) modif. Syn. harmful, deleterious, detrimental, noxious, baneful, damaging, prejudicial, ruinous,… …   English dictionary for students

  • pernicious — perniciously, adv. perniciousness, n. /peuhr nish euhs/, adj. 1. causing insidious harm or ruin; ruinous; injurious; hurtful: pernicious teachings; a pernicious lie. 2. deadly; fatal: a pernicious disease. 3. Obs. evil; wicked. [1515 25; < L… …   Universalium

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