afflict


af·flict

transitive verb \ə-ˈflikt\

: to cause pain or suffering to (someone or something)

Full Definition of AFFLICT

1
obsolete
a :  humble
b :  overthrow
2
a :  to distress so severely as to cause persistent suffering or anguish <afflicted with arthritis>
b :  trouble, injure

Examples of AFFLICT

  1. The disease afflicts an estimated two million people every year.
  2. <the South was afflicted by a severe drought>

Origin of AFFLICT

Middle English, from Latin afflictus, past participle of affligere to cast down, from ad- + fligere to strike — more at profligate
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of AFFLICT

afflict, try, torment, torture, rack mean to inflict on a person something that is hard to bear. afflict is a general term and applies to the causing of pain or suffering or of acute annoyance, embarrassment, or any distress <ills that afflict the elderly>. try suggests imposing something that strains the powers of endurance or of self-control <children often try their parents' patience>. torment suggests persecution or the repeated inflicting of suffering or annoyance <a horse tormented by flies>. torture adds the implication of causing unbearable pain or suffering <tortured by a sense of guilt>. rack stresses straining or wrenching <a body racked by pain>.

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