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pernicious (adj) very harmful (gradual and hardly noticed).

A pernicious effect is a harmful effect or evil effect, especially one that is gradual and little noticed while it works. 'The violence in movies has a pernicious effect on young minds.' This means that violence in movies has a gradual evil effect on the minds of young people.

  • The pernicious disease has debilitated him completely. It was too late by the time the disease was diagnosed.
  • Lying became a pernicious habit with him. He realized the evil and dangerous effects of the habit when everyone dismissed him as unreliable, and would not trust him even when he spoke the truth.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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