inflict

play
verb in·flict \ in-ˈflikt \

Definition of inflict

transitive verb
1 :afflict
2 a :to give by or as if by striking
  • inflict a painful sting
  • inflict damage
b :to cause (something unpleasant) to be endured
  • inflict my annual message upon the church itself if it might derive benefit thereby.
  • —Mark Twain

inflicter

or inflictor play \in-ˈflik-tər\ noun

inflictive

play \in-ˈflik-tiv\ adjective

Examples of inflict in a Sentence

  1. These insects are capable of inflicting a painful sting.

Recent Examples of inflict from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of inflict

Latin inflictus, past participle of infligere, from in- + fligere to strike — more at profligate


INFLICT Defined for English Language Learners

inflict

play
verb

Definition of inflict for English Language Learners

  • : to cause someone to experience or be affected by (something unpleasant or harmful)


INFLICT Defined for Kids

inflict

play
verb in·flict \ in-ˈflikt \

Definition of inflict for Students

inflicted; inflicting
1 :to give by or as if by striking
  • inflict a wound
2 :to cause to be put up with
  • … you endure the boredom that doctors and dentists inflict on their patients before bringing them in …
  • —Lemony Snicket, The Ersatz Elevator


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