pestilence

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pestilence

 [pes´tĭ-lens]
a virulent contagious epidemic or infectious epidemic disease. adj., adj pestilen´tial.

pes·ti·lence

(pes'ti-lens),
1. Synonym(s): plague (2)
2. A virulent outbreak of any disease.
[L. pestilentia]

pestilence

(pĕs′tə-ləns)
n.
A usually fatal epidemic disease, especially bubonic plague.

pestilence

noun An obsolete, non-specific term for an epidemic with high mortality.
 
adjective Malodorous.

pes·ti·lence

(pes'ti-lĕns)
1. Synonym(s): plague (2) .
2. A virulent outbreak of any disease.
[L. pestilentia]
References in classic literature ?
That night a procession passed, by torchlight, through the streets, bearing in the midst the figure of a woman, enveloped with a richly embroidered mantle; while in advance stalked Jervase Helwyse, waving the red flag of the pestilence. Arriving opposite the Province House, the mob burned the effigy, and a strong wind came and swept away the ashes.
Yes, very sadly, a volume of plagues and pestilences predicted that this world has never witnessed before.
In the 14th century, most citizens could not flee pestilences threatening their towns, but civil authorities sought to protect them by excluding suspected human carriers and merchandise from outside.
George Washington made a momentous decision to inoculate all new recruits and finally halt the pestilences progress.
We no longer call such diseases plagues or pestilences, but that does not alter or reduce their threat.
The boom in fast travel and trade, jetting people and their goods from continent to continent in just hours, spreads wildlife pestilences just as it does human diseases.
If the God of plagues and pestilences is out there, and if this God does not take kindly to the oppression of the weak and downtrodden, then I think I need to worry a lot.