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

When new tenants move in downstairs, Libby realizes that she and the military wife, whose husband is afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder, are both searching for a sense of belonging. Cindy Cantrell, BostonGlobe.com, "Three local authors share their stories," 13 June 2019 After discovering a lump under her left ear, she was diagnosed with the form of cancer that about 1,200 people are afflicted with each year. Forum News Service, Twin Cities, "Gabriele Grunewald, national running champion and Gophers star, dies at 32," 11 June 2019 Greece has become the frontline in the worst international disaster since the 1930s: the immigration debacle, which afflicts Europe generally and is centered on the beautiful island of Lesbos, now in effect an immense refugee camp. Adam Gopnik, Town & Country, "My First Visit to the Greek Islands Turned Out to Be a Journey Home," 20 May 2019 Residents steeled themselves for the high winds, floods and mudslides that routinely come with the typhoons that afflict this tropical nation. Todd Pitman, Fox News, "AP WAS THERE: 2013 typhoon kills thousands in Philippines," 15 Sep. 2018 As a little girl, Jerisha Fabian typically had Barbies afflicted with some crazy made up medical condition. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Fueled by a passion for nursing that started with her Barbies, she fought through teen pregnancy on her way to getting degree," 26 June 2018 In a revival of the large-scale violence that has afflicted the exhausted and anxious Afghan capital, a suicide attacker set off his bomb near the entrance of the telecommunications ministry, the Interior Ministry... Ehsanullah Amiri, WSJ, "Large-Scale Assault Hits Afghan Capital After Relative Lull, 10 Dead," 20 Apr. 2019 The new fighting is afflicting a state that was already a tinderbox of racial violence. Jon Emont, WSJ, "Buddhist Violence Portends New Threat to Myanmar," 4 Jan. 2019 Once in denial over challenges to their business model, the generics-makers now acknowledge the symptoms afflicting them. The Economist, "Indian drugmakers need a new prescription," 22 Mar. 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

16 Jun 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

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