There is a word and its meaning is to cause harm in a slow way over time, that is something that creeps up on you and may even be subtle (or at least the definition is something like this I can't remember exactly).

I can't remember the word but it is bugging me and I will recognise it immediately.

Google returned nothing useful to me.

Any ideas?

  • You should include some of the results you consider not useful. This will prevent users here doing duplicate work. Show your research.
    – Skooba
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 15:03
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of What's a negative word for "subtle"? where 'insidious' is the top answer. Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 15:14
  • Perhaps a synonym of erode works: Main Entry: erode Part of Speech: verb Definition: deteriorate; wear away Synonyms: abrade, bite, consume, corrode, crumble, destroy, disintegrate, eat, gnaw, grind down, scour, spoil, waste, wear down
    – k1eran
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 15:17

1 Answer 1



1. stealthy, subtle, cunning, or treacherous

2. working in a subtle or apparently innocuous way, but nevertheless deadly: an insidious illness


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