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 In 2013, reflecting on the tenth anniversary of the SARS pandemic, newspapers in Hong Kong described a city scarred by plague. Jacob Stern, The Atlantic, "This Is Not a Normal Mental-Health Disaster," 7 July 2020 But as the ancient Alaskan joke goes, the real state bird is actually the mosquito, the common and evil skeeter that haunts Alaska in hordes and leaves a plague of itchy bites in its wake. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "Whether cursing, joking or telling stories, Alaskans have always had a lot to say about our ‘state bird’: the mosquito," 6 July 2020 At the outset of the Peloponnesian war with Sparta, which raged from 431BC to 404BC, Athens was ravaged by a plague that swept through the city for three years, killing thousands of soldiers and a third of its inhabitants. The Economist, "Horsemen of the apocalypse Covid-19 raises the risks of violent conflict," 18 June 2020 Advertisement From the 2017 plague in Madagascar to cholera in Haiti, recent infectious disease outbreaks have been centered in cities. Flavie Halais, Wired, "Cities in Poorer Countries Are at Risk as Covid-19 Spreads," 1 June 2020 Authorities in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia have also confirmed a case of the plague. Jack Guy And Mary Ilyushina, CNN, "Bubonic plague outbreak prompts crack down on marmot hunting," 7 July 2020 The plague, which researchers generally believe originated from the Asian steppes, killed tens or hundreds of millions of people in several deadly waves throughout history. Washington Post, "Bubonic plague triggers health alert in China after herder is infected," 7 July 2020 The plague, which researchers generally believe originated from the Asian steppes, killed tens or hundreds of millions of people in several deadly waves throughout history. Gerry Shih, BostonGlobe.com, "Bubonic plague triggers health alert in China after herder is infected," 7 July 2020 Before the invention of antibiotics, the death rate of the plague was approximately 66%. Anthony Leonardi, Washington Examiner, "Suspected case of bubonic plague reported in China," 6 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Boob sweat can plague anyone in the summer, especially during workouts. Molly Longman, refinery29.com, "Boob Sweat Sucks. But We Have Solutions," 13 July 2020 The same errors that arise in political polling from low response rates, for example, might also plague public health research. Roxanne Khamsi, Wired, "America Has a Sick Obsession with Covid-19 Polls," 8 July 2020 Reports of intimidating voters plague the nation, and the country has done its best to limit independent monitors from investigating the process. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Putin wins referendum that could extend rule until 2036," 1 July 2020 With a long history of fighting for Black people, the activist and artist has a profound history of fighting against issues that plague the Black community. Kevin L. Clark, Essence, "Here's Your Juneteeth Playlist To Celebrate Black Joy," 20 June 2020 Doctors Without Borders is ceasing operations at a maternity ward in Kabul that was attacked last month, the international aid group said Monday, signaling how insecurity continues to plague Afghanistan despite U.S. efforts to reduce violence. Jessica Donati, WSJ, "Doctors Without Borders Ends Work at Afghan Maternity Ward After Attack," 15 June 2020 But as violent crime continued to plague the country, more aggressive tactics returned. Ryan Lenora Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, "An ocean apart, similar stories: US protests hit home in South Africa," 8 June 2020 The growing fears about rampant fraud reflect only the latest headaches to plague the country’s unemployment insurance program, a benefits system backed by federal regulators but largely run by the states. Tony Romm, BostonGlobe.com, "States scramble to deal with potential spikes in unemployment fraud, prompting Democrats to demand answers," 8 June 2020 The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder can bail out Texas with both his legs and arm and has mostly moved past the crushing turnover woes that plagued him as an overzealous and trigger-happy freshman. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "2020 Longhorns QB status report: Who backs up Sam Ehlinger?," 14 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for plague

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for plague

Last Updated

1 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Plague.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plague. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for plague

plague

noun
How to pronounce plague (audio)

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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Comments on plague

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