plague

noun
\ˈplāg \

Definition of plague 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a disastrous evil or affliction : calamity

b : a destructively numerous influx or multiplication of a noxious animal : infestation a plague of locusts

2a : an epidemic disease causing a high rate of mortality : pestilence

b : a virulent contagious febrile disease that is caused by a bacterium (Yersinia pestis) and that occurs in bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic forms

called also black death

3a : a cause of irritation : nuisance

b : a sudden unwelcome outbreak a plague of burglaries

plague

verb
plagued; plaguing

Definition of plague (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to smite, infest, or afflict with or as if with disease, calamity, or natural evil

2a : to cause worry or distress to : hamper, burden

b : to disturb or annoy persistently

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Other Words from plague

Verb

plaguer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for plague

Verb

worry, annoy, harass, harry, plague, pester, tease mean to disturb or irritate by persistent acts. worry implies an incessant goading or attacking that drives one to desperation. pursued a policy of worrying the enemy annoy implies disturbing one's composure or peace of mind by intrusion, interference, or petty attacks. you're doing that just to annoy me harass implies petty persecutions or burdensome demands that exhaust one's nervous or mental power. harassed on all sides by creditors harry may imply heavy oppression or maltreatment. the strikers had been harried by thugs plague implies a painful and persistent affliction. plagued all her life by poverty pester stresses the repetition of petty attacks. constantly pestered with trivial complaints tease suggests an attempt to break down one's resistance or rouse to wrath. children teased the dog

Examples of plague in a Sentence

Noun

The country was hit by a plague of natural disasters that year. There has been a plague of bank robberies in the area. a plague that swept through the tribe in the 1600s

Verb

Computer viruses plague Internet users. Crime plagues the inner city. Drought and wildfires continue to plague the area.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Meanwhile, his son, King Charles II, was allegedly well-known for his love affairs, and his rule included several devastating events in the country, such as the Great Fire of London in 1666, as well as an awful bout of the plague. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Charles Might Change His Name When He Becomes King," 18 Aug. 2018 Argentine actor Nahuel Pérez Biscayart’s star-making turn as a fiery activist leads a powerful ensemble cast in this affecting tale of love during a time of plague. Loren King, BostonGlobe.com, "At the MFA, it’s time for the Boston French Film Festival," 5 July 2018 Confusion and feelings of hopelessness plague parents’ efforts to find their children—some of whom are just toddlers. John Moore, National Geographic, "Could DNA Testing Reunite Immigrant Families? Get the Facts.," 25 June 2018 And then people also don’t recognize that crystal meth happened also, which was the second part of this plague. refinery29.com, "IRL Besties Jonathan Van Ness & Margaret Cho Tell Us Their Best Pride Stories," 15 June 2018 In 2017, more than 100 people in Madagascar died as result of plague. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "Idaho Boy Recovering From Plague," 14 June 2018 Seven other people buried in the same cemetery had no trace of plague. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "4,000-year-old genomes point to origins of bubonic plague," 12 June 2018 Life threatening overdoses and deaths are the terrible outcomes of this latest plague. The Aegis, "A transformative time [Editorial]," 1 June 2018 Japanese doctors used the prisoners as guinea pigs, infecting them with anthrax and plague. James M. Scott, WSJ, "Five Best: James M. Scott," 8 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Pratt sees this as the cure for a long list of problems plaguing mining and transportation business owners, investors, and managers. Joseph N. Distefano, Philly.com, "America's robot future: Rajant celebrates new HQ, plans for growth," 2 July 2018 Starter Jakob Junis is prone to giving up home runs and Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor is a bonafide Royals killer who magnified the issue plaguing the Royals’ sophomore pitcher. Maria Torres, kansascity, "A career night from Francisco Lindor dooms Royals, Junis in loss to Indians," 2 July 2018 That data gap stems from issues plaguing the utility's billing system since its rollout in late 2016, according to Brandy Smith, the Postlewaite & Netterville's accountant handling the audit. Beau Evans, NOLA.com, "Sewerage & Water Board poised to seek risky audit extension," 5 June 2018 Celedon started another nonprofit, Fresno Building Healthy Communities, to tackle the problems plaguing The Place. Moni Basu, CNN, "Blue state, red valley: In this part of California, a new generation is more woke than ever," 1 June 2018 The event culminated in an awards ceremony where the St. Louis students won a Judges Award, recognizing their efforts to develop innovative solutions to problems plaguing firefighters. Susan Soldavin, Howard County Times, "River Hill student's paper published by major journal [Clarksville]," 24 May 2018 The USA Today Network is investigating the phenomenon of rising pedestrian fatalities, an urban problem primarily plaguing either cities with high poverty rates or warm-weather spots such as Florida and Arizona. Kristi Tanner, Detroit Free Press, "Death on foot: Pedestrian fatalities skyrocket in U.S.," 8 May 2018 The moment could be open to numerous interpretations — for example, Ramsey says, the dancers could be there to distract viewers in the same way black art is used to distract people from real problems plaguing America. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "An Expert's Take on the Symbolism in Childish Gambino’s Viral ‘This Is America’ Video," 7 May 2018 The zero-price business model is a source of many of the problems plaguing the Internet. Greg Ip, WSJ, "The Unintended Consequences of the ‘Free’ Internet," 14 Nov. 2018

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for plague

Noun

Middle English plage, from Late Latin plaga, from Latin, blow; akin to Latin plangere to strike — more at plaint

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Statistics for plague

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plague

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

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More Definitions for plague

plague

noun

English Language Learners Definition of plague

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a large number of harmful or annoying things

: a disease that causes death and that spreads quickly to a large number of people

plague

verb

English Language Learners Definition of plague (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause constant or repeated trouble, illness, etc., for (someone or something)

: to cause constant worry or distress to (someone)

plague

noun
\ˈplāg \

Kids Definition of plague

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that causes much distress a plague of locusts

2 : a disease that causes death and spreads quickly to a large number of people

plague

verb
plagued; plaguing

Kids Definition of plague (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to affect with disease or trouble Fleas plague the poor dog.

2 : to cause worry or distress to I'm plagued by guilt.

plague

noun
\ˈplāg \

Medical Definition of plague 

1 : an epidemic disease causing a high rate of mortality : pestilence a plague of cholera

2 : a virulent contagious febrile disease that is caused by a bacterium of the genus Yersinia (Y. pestis synonym Pasteurella pestis), that occurs in bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic forms, and that is usually transmitted from rats to humans by the bite of infected fleas (as in bubonic plague) or directly from person to person (as in pneumonic plague)

called also black death

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More from Merriam-Webster on plague

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plague

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plague

Spanish Central: Translation of plague

Nglish: Translation of plague for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plague for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about plague

Comments on plague

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