Insidious In*sid"i*ous, a. [L. insidiosus, fr. insidiae an ambush, fr. insidere to sit in; pref. in- + sedere to sit: cf. F. insidieux. See {Sit}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Lying in wait; watching an opportunity to insnare or entrap; deceitful; sly; treacherous; -- said of persons; as, the insidious foe. ``The insidious witch.'' --Cowper. [1913 Webster]

2. Intended to entrap; characterized by treachery and deceit; as, insidious arts. [1913 Webster]

The insidious whisper of the bad angel. --Hawthorne. [1913 Webster]

3. Acting or proceeding unobserved or in a seemingly harmless manner, but slowly or eventually doing great damage; as, an insidious disease; an insidious plot. [PJC]

{Insidious disease} (Med.), a disease existing, without marked symptoms, but ready to become active upon some slight occasion; a disease not appearing to be as bad as it really is.

Syn: Crafty; wily; artful; sly; designing; guileful; circumventive; treacherous; deceitful; deceptive. -- {In*sid"i*ous*ly}, adv. -- {In*sid"i*ous*ness}, n. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • insidiousness — n. A subtle and cumulative harmfulness, especially of a disease. [WordNet 1.5] 2. the quality of being designed to entrap. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • insidiousness — index artifice, bad faith, deceit, fraud, improbity Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • insidiousness — noun A surreptitious harmfulness, quality of entrapment, or treacherousness; the characteristic of being insidious. This lent a new insidiousness to his temptation, since her contempt would be a refuge from his own …   Wiktionary

  • insidiousness — insidious ► ADJECTIVE ▪ proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, with harmful effect. DERIVATIVES insidiously adverb insidiousness noun. ORIGIN Latin insidiosus cunning …   English terms dictionary

  • insidiousness — noun see insidious …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • insidiousness — See insidiously. * * * …   Universalium

  • insidiousness — in sid·i·ous·ness || ɪn sɪdɪəsnɪs n. craftiness, cunning, deceitfulness; subtle treacherousness …   English contemporary dictionary

  • insidiousness — in·sid·i·ous·ness …   English syllables

  • insidiousness — See: insidious …   English dictionary

  • insidiousness — noun 1. subtle and cumulative harmfulness (especially of a disease) • Derivationally related forms: ↑insidious • Hypernyms: ↑harmfulness, ↑injuriousness 2. the quality of being designed to entrap • Derivationally related forms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

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