afflict

verb
af·​flict | \ ə-ˈflikt How to pronounce afflict (audio) \
afflicted; afflicting; afflicts

Definition of afflict

transitive verb

1a : to cause pain or suffering to : to distress so severely as to cause persistent suffering or anguish people afflicted with arthritis a region afflicted by hunger and poverty

2 obsolete

a : humble
b : overthrow

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of afflict in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Mixed reviews, for instance, have afflicted the outlook this year for Electronic Arts EA 1.51% and Activision Blizzard , ATVI -1.83% the two largest publishers. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "‘Fortnite’ Effect: The Game Never Ends," 15 Feb. 2019 Google was briefly afflicted in 2015 when an Indian provider stumbled. Frank Bajak, The Seattle Times, "Nigerian ISP’s configuration error disrupted Google services," 14 Nov. 2018 Like the author, too, he is afflicted with a permanent sense of semi-exile. New York Times, "Struggling to Love, Work and Do the Right Thing in Putin’s Russia," 9 July 2018 In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked Hamilton County sixth of all U.S. counties most afflicted by syphilis. Anne Saker, Cincinnati.com, "Syphilis in Cincinnati: Infections rising again as Hamilton County warns on social media," 16 Jan. 2018 The naivete is what those like R. Kelly depend on to ultimately afflict the young girl and therefore take advantage of the situation. Morgan Jerkins, Teen Vogue, "R. Kelly and Other Powerful Men Have Always Manipulated Their Teen Fans," 9 Jan. 2019 Depression, which is said to afflict around half the adults in the camp system, has brought with it drug addiction, and higher numbers of children are at risk of malnutrition and neglect. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Burma's Karen refugees face dwindling aid, struggle with depression and suicides," 15 Aug. 2018 While UTIs affect people of all sexes and ages, Kathleen Kobashi, a urologist at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, tells Allure that women are much more likely to be afflicted thanks to their anatomy. Carolyn Todd, Allure, "This Is Why You Keep Getting UTIs After Sex," 13 Aug. 2018 Nintendo’s own Pro Controller seems to have been afflicted by this, too. Sam Byford, The Verge, "This controller fixes a big Nintendo Switch problem but makes another even worse," 3 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'afflict.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of afflict

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for afflict

Middle English afflihten "to excite, become distressed," probably verbal derivative of affliht, aflyght "disturbed, upset," borrowed from Latin afflīctus, past participle of afflīgere "to knock or strike down, ruin, distress severely," from ad- ad- + flīgere "to strike down" — more at profligate entry 1

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Statistics for afflict

Last Updated

10 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for afflict

The first known use of afflict was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for afflict

afflict

verb
af·​flict | \ ə-ˈflikt How to pronounce afflict (audio) \
afflicted; afflicting

Kids Definition of afflict

: to cause pain or unhappiness to An unusual illness afflicted the young girl.

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More from Merriam-Webster on afflict

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with afflict

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for afflict

Spanish Central: Translation of afflict

Nglish: Translation of afflict for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of afflict for Arabic Speakers

Comments on afflict

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