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noun \ˈplāg\

Simple Definition of plague

  • : a large number of harmful or annoying things

  • : a disease that causes death and that spreads quickly to a large number of people

Full Definition of plague

  1. 1 a :  a disastrous evil or affliction :  calamity b :  a destructively numerous influx <a plague of locusts>

  2. 2 a :  an epidemic disease causing a high rate of mortality :  pestilence b :  a virulent contagious febrile disease that is caused by a bacterium (Yersinia pestis) and that occurs in bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic forms —called also black death

  3. 3 a :  a cause of irritation :  nuisance b :  a sudden unwelcome outbreak <a plague of burglaries>

Examples of plague

  1. The country was hit by a plague of natural disasters that year.

  2. There has been a plague of bank robberies in the area.

  3. a plague that swept through the tribe in the 1600s

Origin of plague

Middle English plage, from Late Latin plaga, from Latin, blow; akin to Latin plangere to strike — more at plaint

First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with plague




Simple Definition of plague

  • : to cause constant or repeated trouble, illness, etc., for (someone or something)

  • : to cause constant worry or distress to (someone)

Full Definition of plague


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to smite, infest, or afflict with or as if with disease, calamity, or natural evil

  3. 2 a :  to cause worry or distress to :  hamper, burden b :  to disturb or annoy persistently

plagu·er noun

Examples of plague

  1. Computer viruses plague Internet users.

  2. Crime plagues the inner city.

  3. Drought and wildfires continue to plague the area.

15th Century

First Known Use of plague

15th century

Synonym Discussion of plague

worry, annoy, harass, harry, plague, pester, tease mean to disturb or irritate by persistent acts. worry implies an incessant goading or attacking that drives one to desperation <pursued a policy of worrying the enemy>. annoy implies disturbing one's composure or peace of mind by intrusion, interference, or petty attacks <you're doing that just to annoy me>. harass implies petty persecutions or burdensome demands that exhaust one's nervous or mental power <harassed on all sides by creditors>. harry may imply heavy oppression or maltreatment <the strikers had been harried by thugs>. plague implies a painful and persistent affliction <plagued all her life by poverty>. pester stresses the repetition of petty attacks <constantly pestered with trivial complaints>. tease suggests an attempt to break down one's resistance or rouse to wrath <children teased the dog>.

Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈplāg\

Medical Definition of plague

  1. 1:  an epidemic disease causing a high rate of mortality :  pestilence <a plague of cholera>

  2. 2:  a virulent contagious febrile disease that is caused by a bacterium of the genus Yersinia (Y. pestis synonym Pasteurella pestis), that occurs in bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic forms, and that is usually transmitted from rats to humans by the bite of infected fleas (as in bubonic plague) or directly from person to person (as in pneumonic plague)—called also black death

Seen and Heard

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February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

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