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 This dystopian horror film finds Smith’s character, Dr. Robert Neville, as a survivor of a plague that has transformed humans into hellish, man-eating mutants. Travis Bean, Forbes, "The 10 Best Movies To Stream On Netflix Before They Disappear At The End Of April," 17 Apr. 2021 Most players who were cut would avoid the team that cut them like the plague. Mick Mccabe, Detroit Free Press, "2021 Michigan Mr. Basketball: Detroit Douglass' Pierre Brooks II," 16 Apr. 2021 In Army of the Dead (premiering May 21 on Netflix), a plague has been released from Nevada's secretive Area 51 military base. Clark Collis, EW.com, "Watch the trailer for Zack Snyder's zombie-heist movie Army of the Dead," 13 Apr. 2021 Sure, William Shakespeare wrote King Lear during a plague, but Taylor Swift has now released three albums in the past year alone, so truly, who is the lyric genius now? Savannah Salazar, Vulture, "Taylor Swift Releases 6 New Tracks From the Vault, As a Treat," 9 Apr. 2021 In a year where emergency mode has been our default, learning about the plagues that make up the story of Passover while living through a real-life plague is a bit like looking in the mirror. Allison Hope, CNN, "Lessons from Bubbe for this pandemic Passover," 27 Mar. 2021 Because a plague has descended upon the land of Peak TV, one in which fractured timelines are sucking the life out of far too many stories. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, "Let’s Not Do the Time Warp Again," 26 Mar. 2021 Instead, Dreyer offers a meticulously rational story (loosely based on tales by Sheridan Le Fanu) of a vampire curse that spreads on contact from person to person like a plague. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "The Best Horror Movies for Halloween—Without the Gore," 28 Oct. 2020 Some of these would have been okay deals just a few weeks ago but avoid them like the plague now. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Warning: Beware terrible graphics card 'deals' that aren't worth your money," 13 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The move comes as the surge of migration at the U.S. southern border continues to plague the Biden administration, with much of the activity in the region driven by drug cartels. Michael Lee, Washington Examiner, "Chip Roy to introduce legislation classifying drug cartels as terrorist organizations," 15 Apr. 2021 The state has administered more than 11.7 million doses of vaccines against the virus, as predictability and supply of vaccine continues to plague some regions and test facilities. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, "Coronavirus updates from the Bay Area: March 11-17, 2021," 20 Mar. 2021 As Zoom fatigue continues to plague remote teams, leaders and managers must set the standard for how and when meetings will be held. Brent Gleeson, Forbes, "The Navy SEAL Way To Effectively Lead Remote Teams," 17 Mar. 2021 And, parents say, turnover continues to plague schools that are already struggling and more often serving low-income kids and kids of color. Arika Herron, The Indianapolis Star, "Parents want more action from Indianapolis Public Schools on racial equity goals," 16 Mar. 2021 Durham’s contribution to combatting the drug violence that continues to plague Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven was to federalize investigations. Edmund H. Mahony, courant.com, "U.S. Attorney John Durham resigns; led prosecution of mobsters, drug kingpins and corrupt politicians. ‘A hero in the law enforcement community.’," 26 Feb. 2021 Still, this issue continues to plague Callie for 11 more episodes. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "Callie Torres Deserved Better From Grey’s Anatomy," 1 Feb. 2021 Israel’s Palestinian neighbors, for example, currently have no access to a vaccine, meaning Israelis could feasibly return to normal life even as the virus continues to plague Palestinian towns and villages just miles away. Saphora Smith, NBC News, "Paralyzed by Covid-19, Israel bids to be first country to vaccinate its way to safety," 3 Jan. 2021 Gun violence continues to plague Chicago streets with the city seeing a significant uptick in shootings and murders compared to last year. Fox News, "Chicago violence up by half, 3,800 people shot this year," 2 Dec. 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

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Plague.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plague. Accessed 6 May. 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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Comments on plague

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