af·​flic·​tion | \ ə-ˈflik-shən How to pronounce affliction (audio) \

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 But the Trump era has exposed their mutual civic affliction. Kevin Mahnken, The New Republic, "The Democrats’ Future Depends on D.C. Statehood," 25 June 2020 Clarke was concerned that Leo would be severely affected by the affliction, but that hasn't been the case, Clarke said. Fox News, "Bunny goes viral after being born without ears," 15 June 2020 Choosing silence when a colleague exhibits severe manifestations of the affliction toward a co-worker or patient. David Malebranche, STAT, "Racism: The contagion in health care we need to eradicate," 4 June 2020 Perfectionism is an odd affliction, part spur, part handicap. Heller Mcalpin, Washington Post, "An acclaimed author’s crippling quest for perfection," 13 Mar. 2020 Such homes have reported 6,250 infected residents, who because of underlying health afflictions and living in close quarters are particularly susceptible to the virus. Scott Wilson, Anchorage Daily News, "California nursing homes are examples of how cruel the coronavirus pandemic can be," 16 May 2020 There is no definitive test for the disease, but a blood test revealed enough of the markers that she was transferred to Packard, which has a regional reputation for treating kids with rare afflictions. Sam Whiting,, "Bay Area baby’s case may be first that links COVID-19 to Kawasaki disease," 10 May 2020 Lack of exposure during childhood is thought to spark overreactive immune function later in life, potentially leading to increased inflammation and contributing to these afflictions. Mark Fretz, The Conversation, "Buildings have their own microbiomes – we’re striving to make them healthy places," 17 Apr. 2020 Those maps proved, for the first time, that London’s terrible affliction was spreading through crystal-clear fresh water that came out of pumps, not the city’s foul-smelling air. Zeynep Tufekci, The Atlantic, "Don’t Believe the COVID-19 Models," 2 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for affliction

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for affliction

Last Updated

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Affliction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for affliction


How to pronounce affliction (audio)

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 How to pronounce affliction (audio) \

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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