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

Symptoms of the plague include: fever and chills, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and shock. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, "Plague-Infected Prairie Dogs Force Phish Concert to Cancel Camping for Event," 20 Aug. 2019 The Stand tells the story of a plague that wipes out 99 percent of the population with the survivors embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil. James Hibberd, EW.com, "The Stand TV series casts 4 actors, Stephen King to write new ending," 1 Aug. 2019 Zhou Haohui, translation by Bonnie Huie A novel about the investigation of a plague spreading across a Chinese city. Amanda Shendruk, Quartzy, "Here’s what every Chinese book recently translated for the US is about," 27 July 2019 Imperial Japan weaponized insects, typically fleas infected with plague and cholera, where they were used against the civilian population in China. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "So...Did the Pentagon Use Ticks for Biological Warfare?," 17 July 2019 Hoping to fight a plague of robocalls, a dozen phone companies including the country’s biggest mobile and broadband providers agreed to adopt call-blocking technology and other measures to help regulators track down swindlers. SFChronicle.com, "ICYMI: HP boss to leave; battle over robocalls escalates; Alibaba slows IPO," 23 Aug. 2019 Previous SlideNext Slide In the new prequel, the Crystal of Truth has been corrupted by the Skeksis, and a plague spreads across Thra. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Sigourney Weaver, Mark Hamill lend voices to Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance," 13 Aug. 2019 Too much time spent in front of the tube was discussed as a national epidemic and a plague on the nation’s children. Christian Lorentzen, Harper's magazine, "Like This or Die," 10 Apr. 2019 Some joked that the product has been a plague for a near-decade. Jake Shapiro, The Denver Post, "Colorado Rapids fans embrace plague with costumes, chants," 3 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But the populists’ radicalisation makes co-operation impossible: Andreas Kalbitz, the AfD’s leader in Brandenburg, was plagued throughout the campaign by evidence of past links to neo-Nazi groups. The Economist, "Germany’s ruling parties have escaped electoral disaster," 7 Sep. 2019 But, our research shows how a large scale renewable energy projects can be plagued by many of the same troubling effects on local communities as oil and extractive industries. Zoe Cormack, Quartz Africa, "Kenya’s huge wind power project might be great for the environment but not for local communities," 3 Sep. 2019 Federer was plagued by 19 unforced errors, 11 on the forehand side, in the fourth set, and the five-time champion could not convert five break points when Dimitrov served for the win. Alaa Abdeldaiem, SI.com, "Roger Federer Suffers Upset Loss to Grigor Dimitrov in U.S. Open Quarterfinal," 3 Sep. 2019 Each team had a turn at fielding practice under the lights before Derringer took the mound for the pitch around 9 p.m. Billy Myers didn’t seem plagued by the new playing conditions. Mark Schmetzer, Cincinnati.com, "Top games in Cincinnati Reds history No. 15: First night game at Crosley Field," 29 Aug. 2019 The 52-year-old New York senator announced her decision Wednesday on Twitter as her campaign, which once looked to ride strong #MeToo credentials, was plagued by low polling and fundraising struggles. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Sen. Gillibrand says she’s ending 2020 presidential bid," 28 Aug. 2019 The 52-year-old New York senator announced her decision Wednesday on Twitter as her campaign, which once looked to ride strong #MeToo credentials, was plagued by low polling and fundraising struggles. Will Weissert, BostonGlobe.com, "Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand drops out of 2020 presidential race," 28 Aug. 2019 The 52-year-old New York senator announced her decision Wednesday on Twitter as her campaign, which once looked to ride strong #MeToo credentials, was plagued by low polling and fundraising struggles. Will Weissert, Fortune, "Gillibrand Drops Out of 2020 Presidential Race," 28 Aug. 2019 Though Twitter was plagued by a decade of earnings losses, today’s results are the seventh consecutive quarter of turning a profit. Adam Rasmi, Quartz, "Twitter is finally figuring out how to monetize its user base," 26 July 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

11 Sep 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

Comments on plague

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