Word Wednesday.



  1. highly injurious or destructive.

  2. archaic: wicked.

– perniciously, adverb.

– perniciousness, noun.

Pernicious implies irreparable harm done through evil or insidious corrupting or undermining.

[Origin: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin perniciosus, from pernicies destruction, from per – + nec -, nex violent death.] 15th Century.

I found this fellow at the bottom of the chest under a lot of other stuff. Fortunately our pernicious vicar hadn’t quite got to it before his collapse.” The Ghosts of Sleath, James Herbert.


  1. rq says

    I’ve always seen ‘pernicious’ as something small, mean and biting that causes damage disproportionate to its size. Like ‘vicious’, but smaller in scale though more persistent in intent. I see its actual definition is a lot more serious.


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