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insidious

adjective

Definition: 1. harmful and destructive in a slow and gradual way; 2. harmful and injurious, yet enticing

Synonyms: cunning, devious, sinister, sly, subtle, treacherous, harmful, dangerous, injurious

Antonyms: obvious, apparent, innocuous

Tips: Insidious is derived from the Latin word insidere, "to sit on" or "lie in wait." Something that is insidious may not seem dangerous or harmful at first, but slowly spreads to become so. An insidious disease, for example, is one that may not be detected until it has spread to the point of being fatal.

Usage Examples:

The company's insidious accounting practices had a gradually negative impact on profits. (injurious, harmful)

Cancer is an insidious disease that often goes undetected until it is too late. (dangerous, sinister)

Drug addiction can gradually manifest itself in an insidious way. (subtle, sly, injurious)

The insidious gossip within our office has caused more problems than anyone might realize. (subtle, cunning, devious, injurious)


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