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From Latin perfidiōsus (treacherous), from perfidia.



perfidious (comparative more perfidious, superlative most perfidious)

  1. Of, pertaining to, or representing perfidy; disloyal to what should command one's fidelity or allegiance. [from late 16th c.]
    • 1610, The Tempest, by Shakespeare, act 2 scene 2
      TRINCULO (speaking about Caliban): By this light, a most perfidious and drunken / monster: when his god's asleep, he'll rob his bottle.
    • 1851, Oliver Goldsmith, Dr. Goldsmith's History of Rome (ed. William C. Taylor), ch. 26:
      The perfidious Ricimer soon became dissatisfied with Anthe'mius, and raised the standard of revolt.
    • 1905, Andrew Lang, John Knox and the Reformation, ch. 14:
      [S]he knew Huntly for the ambitious traitor he was, a man peculiarly perfidious and self-seeking.
    • 2005 June 21, Robert Hughes, "Art: The Velocipede of Modernism," Time:
      When the Nazis branded Feininger a "degenerate artist" in 1937, he left 54 paintings for safekeeping with a Bauhaus friend named Hermann Klumpp. After the war, and for the rest of Feininger's life, the perfidious Klumpp refused to give them back.


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