1. Tending to cause death or serious injury; deadly: a pernicious virus.
2. Causing great harm; destructive: pernicious rumors.
[Middle English, from Old French pernicios, from Latin perniciōsus, from perniciēs, destruction : per-, per- + nex, nec-, violent death; see nek-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.