plague

noun
\ ˈplāg How to pronounce plague (audio) \

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

That legal precedent includes a major victory for the software industry against a plague of patent trolls. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Congress Is Debating—Again—Whether Genes Can Be Patented," 5 June 2019 There are simply too many of them, an epidemic, a plague. Vogue, "The Year in School Shootings," 2 June 2019 In the near future, a strange plague sweeps over the world. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "All the science fiction and fantasy books we’re looking forward to in 2019," 30 Dec. 2018 The same issues that plague tank guns also affect individual soldier's weapons, including infantry carbines and squad automatic weapons. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Army’s Next Infantry Guns Will Have Computerized Fire Control for Unreal Accuracy," 14 Feb. 2019 The expansive lens through which Kushner dramatizes these plague years exposes the lie of separate categories of experience. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "For the Berkeley Rep revival of 'Angels in America,' the play is the thing," 29 May 2018 The same method has been used on the death registries from the 17th century Milan plague outbreak and even the shirt Anton Chekhov wore on the last day of his life. Angela Chen, The Verge, "How gel and X-rays are helping us fix art and read thousand-year-old manuscripts," 21 May 2018 Soon enough, the high-foreheaded mutineer is lashed to a fence, snarling madly like all the other post-death humans in this plague smitten afterworld. Steve Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Negan cleans house: 5 thoughts recapping the season's next-to-last 'Walking Dead' episode," 9 Apr. 2018 The wake starting inside is for a stranger, another young man consumed by the great American plague. Claire Galofaro, The Seattle Times, "Moms of the dead from drugs: “Where is the outrage for us?”," 29 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Galvan suffers from neurofibromatosis, a rare skin disease that causes large tumors to grow on nerve tissues, which has plagued him almost his entire life. Eric Todisco, PEOPLE.com, "Paraguay Man Bullied for His Massive Tumors Has Surgery to Remove 6 Lbs. of Tissue," 14 June 2019 Duke’s Cam Reddish, another possibility at five, won’t be able to work out following surgery to repair a core muscle injury that plagued him as a freshman. Chris Fedor, cleveland.com, "De’Andre Hunter to work out for Cleveland Cavaliers early next week," 14 June 2019 Cionel Perez is pitching better, but still prone to control issues that plagued him in Class AAA. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros mailbag: When will Jose Altuve return to action?," 13 June 2019 The idea suggests that as multicellular life evolved, so did the parasites and pathogens that plagued it. Jon Kelvey, Smithsonian, "The Evolution of Sex Could Have Provided a Defense Against Cancer Cells," 11 June 2019 But the aftereffects of surgery and radiation plagued her. Ann Neumann, Harper's magazine, "Going to Extremes," 10 June 2019 Thus, Brazilian football and Indian cricket represent the binding of disparate peoples by a common culture, and the problems that plague them. The Economist, "Baseball and exceptionalism," 8 June 2019 That could be because of a back injury that plagued him at the end of his sophomore year. Jeremiah Kirven, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers draft analysis: Greene a 'no-brainer' but Quintana risky," 31 May 2019 The worry that had plagued me since his unannounced visit disappeared overnight. Crystal Ponti, Harper's BAZAAR, "What It's Actually Like To Be Stalked by Joe," 12 Feb. 2019

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

19 Jun 2019

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)

old-fashioned : 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 How to pronounce plague (audio) \

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 How to pronounce plague (audio) \

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

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