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insidious

used in a sentence
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Definition not appearing dangerous, but actually very harmful over time

or:

treacherous  (dangerous due to trickery or from hidden or unpredictable risks)
  • The debt grew insidiously—just a little at a time and always for a good purpose.
    Alan Greenspan  --  The Age of Turbulence
insidiously = in a manner not appearing dangerous, but actually very harmful over time
  • We've grown accustomed to spending more than we earn, but the increasing debt is an insidious problem.
  • insidious = not appearing dangerous, but actually very harmful over time
  • This isn't an obvious verbal message that we automatically dig in our heels against. It's much more subtle and for that reason much more insidious, and that much harder to insulate ourselves against.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  The Tipping Point
  • insidious = dangerous while not appearing harmful
  • "But the demons of the past," he continued, "were demons of fire and abomination . . . they were enemies we could fight-enemies who inspired fear. Yet Satan is shrewd. As time passed, he cast off his diabolical countenance for a new face . . . the face of pure reason. Transparent and insidious..."
    Dan Brown  --  Angels & Demons
  • insidious = not appearing dangerous, but actually very harmful over time
  • The real secret was that communism crept into Kerala insidiously. As a reformist movement that never overtly questioned the traditional values...
    Arundhati Roy  --  The God of Small Things
  • insidiously = in a manner that did not appear dangerous, but was actually very harmful over time
  • [referring to radiation poisoning]  He could forget the insidious, the invisible, the implacable enemy, but not forever.
    Pat Frank  --  Alas, Babylon
  • insidious = dangerous in a way that is not easily seen
  • I know I have changed too, the stubbornly growing paunch, the just-as-determined retreat of the hairline, but the decline of one's own body is incremental, as nearly imperceptible as it is insidious.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  And The Mountains Echoed
  • insidious = harmful over time (even though it doesn't appear that way as it's happening)
  • If a miner got into enough debt with a company store, the company stopped paying the miner with U.S. dollars and issued his pay in the form of scrip—company money good only in the company store. It was an insidious system.
    Homer Hickam  --  October Sky
  • insidious = not appearing dangerous, but actually very harmful over time
  • The toxin does the deed insidiously, indirectly, by inhibiting an enzyme essential to glycoprotein metabolism.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • insidiously = in dangerous in a non-obvious way
  • ...all the same she knew that she had come up against something that was both insidious and tough, and against which she needed allies.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Passage to India
  • insidious = dangerous
  • It's an insidious plan, if I do say so myself.
    Ray Bradbury  --  Fahrenheit 451
  • insidious = appearing harmless (or even desirable), but actually very harmful over time
  • There was scrub and long grass all about us, and I did not feel safe from their insidious approach.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Time Machine
  • insidious = appearing harmless (or even desirable), but actually very harmful over time
  • You were heavily and insidiously drugged.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Supremacy
  • insidiously = treacherously  (in a dangerous, tricky manner)
  • The insidious revolt led by Buck had destroyed the solidarity of the team.
    Jack London  --  The Call of the Wild
  • insidious = very harmful over time
  • How insidious he could be, too, I was only to find out several months later and a thousand miles farther.
    Joseph Conrad  --  Heart of Darkness
  • insidious = not appearing dangerous, but actually harmful
  • What ... did Morrie dread the most about his slow, insidious decay?
    Mitch Albom  --  Tuesdays with Morrie
  • insidious = harmful over time
  • little by little, in her stealthy, insidious way
    Daphne du Maurier  --  Rebecca
  • insidious = not appearing dangerous, but actually very harmful over time
  • They were designed for winter wear, when treacherous drafts came down chimneys and insidious currents of deadly cold found their way through key-holes.
    Kate Chopin  --  The Awakening
  • insidious = treacherous
  • She waited while he completed his impassioned speech on the moral decline of the country, the insidious corruption that stemmed from promiscuity, conception control, genetic engineering.
    J.D. Robb  --  Naked in Death
  • insidious = not appearing dangerous, but actually very harmful over time
  • I imagined the tumor metastasizing into my own bones, boring holes into my skeleton, a slithering eel of insidious intent.
    John Green  --  The Fault in Our Stars
insidious = dangerous

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