af·flic·tion | \ə-ˈflik-shən \

Definition of affliction 

1 : a cause of persistent pain or distress a mysterious affliction

2 : great suffering felt empathy with their affliction

3 : the state of being afflicted by something that causes suffering her affliction with polio

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Examples of affliction in a Sentence

She lost her sight and is now learning to live with her affliction. He died from a mysterious affliction.

Recent Examples on the Web

To save the body from cancer with chemotherapy means poisoning it — sores, baldness and other afflictions accompany the paradoxical process. Ben Brazil,, "CHOC to hold prom night for teens battling cancer and for post-treatment survivors," 14 June 2018 Cincinnati VA Post-traumatic stress disorder, an affliction for many U.S. veterans, is a qualifying condition in Ohio for medical marijuana. Anne Saker,, "Cincinnati hospitals reluctantly realize that medical marijuana is coming to town," 11 July 2018 He had been diagnosed earlier this year with Paget's disease, a painful affliction that damages the bones but is not life-threatening. Christopher Marquis, miamiherald, "Jorge Mas Canosa dead at 58," 15 June 2018 But the new flu drug also has notable advantages over the small number of other medications currently on the market for the seasonal affliction. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "This novel, one-and-done flu drug could be available soon in the US," 27 June 2018 The latest problem in Pratt’s geared turbofan — a fault in its knife-edge seal that led to in-flight shutdowns — is just the most recent in a series of afflictions for the turbine. Benjamin Katz, The Seattle Times, "Airbus will miss its A320neo delivery goal after engine problems," 3 July 2018 Psychologists wrote the book on unhealthy aspects of peer pressure, obsessive desire for conformity and acceptance, groupthink and intellectual dishonesty, but seem unable to diagnose and treat their own afflictions. WSJ, "The Doublespeak on Innate Sex Differences," 25 June 2018 They are commonly confused and thought of as two totally different afflictions. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "How to Tell the Difference Between Dermatitis and Eczema," 15 June 2018 Data also show identical levels of trauma and its lifelong afflictions in suburbs and rural areas, which also have a scarcity of trauma-responsive social workers. John Schmid, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Help wanted: Trauma-focused social workers to stop downward spiral in Milwaukee," 4 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'affliction.' 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 affliction

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for affliction

Middle English affliccioun "misery, distress, self-inflicted pain," borrowed from Anglo-French afflicion, borrowed from Late Latin afflīctiōn-, afflīctiō, from Latin afflīgere "to afflict" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns

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Statistics for affliction

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for affliction

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

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More Definitions for affliction



English Language Learners Definition of affliction

: something (such as a disease) that causes pain or suffering

: the state of being affected by something that causes suffering


af·flic·tion | \ə-ˈflik-shən \

Kids Definition of affliction

1 : the state of being affected by something that causes pain or unhappiness his affliction with polio

2 : something that causes pain or unhappiness Chicken pox is an affliction caused by a virus.

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