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 Variations on this story-structure appear in a number of these pieces, as do natural disasters: plague, hail storms, snow storms, floods, fire. Martin Riker, WSJ, 7 May 2021 Crime and violence already plague too many Black communities. Clarence Page, chicagotribune.com, 2 Apr. 2021 Amid the ensuing shouts from the crowd were denunciations of a more insidious plague here in Kenya: public services that work for those with connections and money and relegate everyone else to the back of the line. Washington Post, 30 Mar. 2021 But somehow that respite made the resurgence of gun violence all the more shocking and painful — one plague at last receding, only to be replaced by another. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, 23 Mar. 2021 Plunder, plague, and pestilence come quickly to mind, starvation and death not far behind. Sigrid Macrae, Harper's Magazine, 16 Mar. 2021 But in a year wracked by political turmoil, a global plague, and seemingly endless natural disasters, being prepared to live off-grid seems more appealing than ever before. Gear Team, Wired, 14 Jan. 2021 When disruption is extreme, whether in the form of war or plague, an alternative reality may be a short-term solution. John Kao, Forbes, 18 May 2021 Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai is said to be one of only five students who survived that mysterious plague, making his contribution to the continuation of Jewish study and his place among the sages especially significant. Ilanit Chernick, CNN, 2 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But in the absence of real, legislative, systemic change, mass shootings can — and will — continue to plague us. Danielle Campoamor, refinery29.com, 16 Apr. 2021 The receiver’s career was highlighted with circus catches, but inconsistencies began to plague him in his later years. Dallas News, 13 Apr. 2021 But for the past three-plus months, head coach Steve Kerr has stressed to his players not biting on pump fakes or reaching in, only for those nagging issues to still plague them. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 Apr. 2021 The big three infectious diseases that plague the world — H.I.V., tuberculosis and malaria — cause more than 2.3 million deaths a year, disproportionately in poorer countries. New York Times, 31 Mar. 2021 Kusama also began to suffering from health problems that would continue to plague her later in life. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Mar. 2021 The night before the Enterprise arrived, Hunt had the first of the nightmares that would come to plague her. Elliot Ackerman, Wired, 23 Feb. 2021 Miami: The ‘Canes have lost three of their last four, and injuries continue to plague them. sun-sentinel.com, 29 Dec. 2020 Loyer’s physical limitations continue to plague him, and MSU is forced to use reserves Jack Hoiberg and A.J. Hoggard more often. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, 25 Nov. 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

3 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Plague.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plague. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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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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