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Pernicious things (and people) are evil, deadly, or destructive, often in a way that's sneaky or gradual.

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Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like "large" or "late."
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in "a pernicious thing" or "a pernicious person."
2. After a linking verb, as in "It was pernicious" or "He was pernicious.")

Other forms:
Perniciously & perniciousness.
(Although there's a nicer-sounding noun, "pernicion," no one uses it now.)

How to use it:
This word is formal and very negative.

Talk about pernicious diseases and insects;
pernicious problems and issues;
pernicious threats and weaknesses;
pernicious crimes, actions, practices, and campaigns;
pernicious intents and purposes;
pernicious ideas, doctrines, principles, and ideologies;
pernicious superstitions and conspiracy theories;
pernicious apathy and ignorance;
pernicious influences and effects;
pernicious cycles of events, and so on.

One thing can be pernicious to another: "a disease pernicious to these plants," "a shyness pernicious to his social life."

It's much less common, but you can also say that people are pernicious.

Flint's water crisis worsened in the face of pernicious neglect.

A promise to love, honor, and obey? Plenty of us omitted that pernicious "obey" from our wedding vows.

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