Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

plight

play
verb \ˈplīt\

Definition of plight

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to put or give in pledge :  engage <plight his troth>

plight·er noun


Origin of plight

Middle English, from Old English plihtan to endanger, from pliht danger; akin to Old English plēon to expose to danger, Old High German pflegan to take care of


First Known Use: 13th century


2

plight

play
noun \ˈplīt\

Definition of plight

  1. :  a solemnly given pledge :  engagement



Origin of plight

(see 1plight)


First Known Use: 13th century


3

plight

play
noun \ˈplīt\

Definition of plight

  1. :  an unfortunate, difficult, or precarious situation



Examples of plight

  1. Huckelberry decided to use the owl's plight as the impetus to craft a comprehensive conservation plan. —Terry McCarthy, Time, 4 Apr. 2005

  2. It's a sign of where the health-care debate has gone that truly big dilemmas—like the plight of the 42.6 million people still uninsured or the future of Medicare—are taking a back seat to what was only recently a relatively minor campaign issue. —Jonathan Alter, Newsweek, 9 Oct. 2000

  3. New political arrangements helped do in both Uruguay and New Zealand, and behind those arrangements are the plights of western Europe's old agricultural supply regions, especially those of France. —Jane Jacobs, Cities and the Wealth of Nations, 1984



Origin of plight

Middle English plight, plit danger, condition, in part from Old English pliht; in part from Anglo-French plit, pleit, pli condition, plight, literally, bending, fold — more at plait


First Known Use: 13th century



PLIGHT Defined for Kids

plight

play
noun \ˈplīt\

Definition of plight

  1. :  a bad condition or state :  predicament <There really seemed to be no means of escape, and … they realized their helpless plight … — L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up plight? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

16.96 pounds 2.2 pounds 100 pounds 196.5 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ