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 the midst of Asriel's research and a sudden plague of vanishing children, Lyra is taken in by Mrs. Coulter (Ruth Wilson), a glamorous and powerful woman who oozes both likability and nefarious intent in her every word. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Review: 'His Dark Materials' is not the series fans hoped for, but it's better than the movie," 4 Nov. 2019 The only problem is that Phillip’s mother, Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer), is a snooty human supremacist who sees Maleficent and her magical subjects as a plague to be eradicated. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Disney Delivers a Truly Bizarre Sleeping Beauty Sequel," 16 Oct. 2019 Combine that with a Biblical plague of injuries to the bullpen — who could have figured Tommy Hunter would be hurt for a fourth straight year? — and the Phillies always seemed to be pushing a rock uphill with the pitching staff. chicagotribune.com, "Don’t expect major Phillies shakeup this offseason," 26 Sep. 2019 Any Francophile would recognize, meanwhile, that the plague continues to inflict France. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "Behind the Bewildering Recent Incidents of Anti-Semitism," 16 Dec. 2019 Massasoit realized that his people were vulnerable to subjugation by the rival Narraganset tribe, which had mostly escaped the plagues. Philip Martin, Arkansas Online, "CRITICAL MASS: Thanksgiving is a complicated celebration. Even so, we’re lucky to be here," 24 Nov. 2019 South Florida’s efforts to get rid of the non-native Burmese pythons that are considered a plague on the ecosystem got a boost in the Florida Keys — apparently by a mystery motorist. Doug Phillips, sun-sentinel.com, "Python near the Ocean Reef Club was no problem for Keys cops," 22 Nov. 2019 It is made by a number of different bacterial species, including Yersinia pestis, the Gram-negative bacteria that causes plague. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "New antibiotic found in bacteria inside a worm inside an insect egg," 20 Nov. 2019 Conservation biology experts are fascinated at the possibility of genetically altering ferrets to innately resist plague. Ashley Braun, Longreads, "Research and Rescue: Saving Species from Ourselves," 24 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The documents also suggest that Boeing’s development of the simulators, working in Miami, Singapore, London and Shanghai with a new equipment supplier called TRU, was plagued with all sorts of technical problems. Dominic Gates, Anchorage Daily News, "Boeing documents show employees discussing efforts to manipulate regulators scrutinizing the 737 Max," 10 Jan. 2020 The $790 million in construction projects voters approved in 2017 have been plagued with questions over the district’s cost estimates since the early goings. oregonlive, "Portland Public Schools will place multimillion-dollar construction bond on November ballot," 8 Jan. 2020 The social media giant has been plagued with privacy concerns in recent years and has faced a long list of scandals. Kaya Yurieff, CNN, "Apple returns to CES to talk privacy, not products," 7 Jan. 2020 But the data were questionable and the field was plagued with contamination problems, Briese says. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, "Cases of mysterious shrew-transmitted disease double," 7 Jan. 2020 The Trump administration has been plagued with high-level Cabinet vacancies. NBC News, "Trump's former pick to lead FEMA resigns from agency," 6 Jan. 2020 Penn Station, which is owned by Amtrak, is currently plagued with aging tracks in need of repairs, narrow platforms and bottlenecks that riders encounter when trying to get to their train, causing safety concerns. Christina Goldbaum, New York Times, "Can Penn Station Handle 175,000 More Riders? Cuomo Thinks So," 6 Jan. 2020 News of the break comes after much of the couple's time together was plagued with rumors that the relationship was fake. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Tana Mongeau and Jake Paul Are "Taking a Break" From Their Marriage," 3 Jan. 2020 But either way, the Niners are playoff-bound with what appears to be the best collection of entertainingly inconsistent players in the league. We have been plagued with serious injuries and marginal-quality backups. Willie Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Mayor Pete’s California “wine cave” gives state’s image a needed makeover," 28 Dec. 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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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

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Plague.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plaguing. Accessed 19 January 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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