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Look up pestilence in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
A pestilence is any virulent and highly infectious disease that can cause an epidemic or even a pandemic. The word can also be used about parasites causing large scale sickness and death, such as Guinea worm.
Originally the word referred to the disease plague, which is called pestis in Latin.
The 14th-century English poet Geoffrey Chaucer spoke of "pestilence" in "The Pardoner's Tale", referring to the Black Death:
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Pestilence". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|