pernicious

Pernicious means harmful and subtle, such as a poison gas that causes cancer in those exposed to it over the course of years.

Pernicious comes from the Latin perniciosus, for destructive, which in turn comes from pernicies, for death or ruin. You might have heard your parents and teachers talk about the pernicious effects of watching too much TV and playing video games all day––they'll turn your brain to mush.

DEFINITIONS OF: pernicious

1

adj exceedingly harmful

Synonyms:
baneful, deadly, pestilent
noxious
injurious to physical or mental health

adj working or spreading in a hidden and usually injurious way

Synonyms:
insidious, subtle
harmful
causing or capable of causing harm
WORD FAMILY
USAGE EXAMPLES