pestilence

[pes-tl-uhns]
noun
1.
a deadly or virulent epidemic disease.
3.
something that is considered harmful, destructive, or evil.

Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English < Middle French < Latin pestilentia. See pestilent, -ence

antipestilence, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pestilence (ˈpɛstɪləns)
 
n
1.  a.  any epidemic outbreak of a deadly and highly infectious disease, such as the plague
 b.  such a disease
2.  an evil influence or idea

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

pestilence
c.1300, from O.Fr. pestilence, from L. pestilentia "plague," noun of action from pestilentem (nom. pestilens) "infected, unwholesome, noxious," from pestis "deadly disease, plague."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

pestilence pes·ti·lence (pěs'tə-ləns)
n.

  1. A usually fatal epidemic disease, especially bubonic plague.

  2. An epidemic of such a disease.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
They glide down corridors like allegories of pestilence and famine.
Fire, pestilence and greed devoured the people.
In recent months the city has revived its efforts to curb honking, smoking and
  the pestilence of plastic bags.
In 250, a pestilence began to rage, and made great havoc for several years.
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