AskDefine | Define deleterious

Dictionary Definition

deleterious adj : harmful to living things; "deleterious chemical additives" [syn: hurtful, injurious]

User Contributed Dictionary



From δηλητήριος "deleterios", from δηλέομαι, "to hurt, to damage."


  • a RP /ˌdɛlɪˈtɪəriəs/|/ˌdɪlɪˈtɪəriəs/
  • a US /ˌdɛləˈtɪriəs/
  • Rhymes with: -ɪəriəs


  1. harmful or hurtful, to physical, mental or moral health.
    a deleterious chemical

Usage notes

Often used in contexts of exasperation or ironic dramatization.

Derived terms

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Deleterious means harmful or injurous to health.
Deleterious may also refer to:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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