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

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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 Those afflicted will endure fever, headache, and fatigue. Allegra Kirkland, Quartz, "What climate change will do to three major American cities by 2100," 18 Oct. 2019 Services lacking: In-patient mental health care around the country has seen a steep decline over the last couple decades, posing a problem for those afflicted with mental disorders looking for treatment. cleveland, "PA Gov. wants to join interstate compact to reduce carbon output: The Flyover," 4 Oct. 2019 Often, that seems to be the actual goal of gender-identity enthusiasts, since the minuscule numbers of those afflicted with true dysphoria couldn’t otherwise justify the rewriting of all manner of school applications and government forms. Abigail Shrier, WSJ, "The Transgender Language War," 29 Aug. 2018 Widodo has been widely praised for his efforts to improve Indonesia’s inadequate infrastructure and reduce poverty, which afflicts close to a 10th of the nearly 270 million people. Washington Post, "Indonesia president names election rival as defense minister," 23 Oct. 2019 Widodo has been widely praised for his efforts to improve Indonesia’s inadequate infrastructure and reduce poverty, which afflicts close to one-10th of the sprawling country’s 270 million people. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Indonesia’s popular president to be sworn in for 2nd term," 20 Oct. 2019 But despite these lofty ambitions, the project has been afflicted by technical and financial challenges, calling into question the wisdom of relying on Chinese technology, as well as debt-financing, for major infrastructure. Yunnan Chen, Quartz Africa, "Ethiopia and Kenya are struggling to manage debt for their Chinese-built railways," 4 June 2019 Others, such as those afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder or chronic pain, might seek relief from traumatic memories by trying to erase them. Robert Martone, Scientific American, "A Successful Artificial Memory Has Been Created," 27 Aug. 2019 Most of those afflicted are treated with antibiotics and recover, although hospitalization is often required. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease found at Ford plant," 26 June 2019

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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Learn More about afflict

Time Traveler for afflict

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for afflict

Last Updated

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Afflict.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/afflict?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=a&file=afflic01. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for afflict

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with afflict

Spanish Central: Translation of afflict

Nglish: Translation of afflict for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of afflict for Arabic Speakers

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