Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To inflict grievous physical or mental suffering on.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To cause (someone) pain, suffering or distress.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To strike or cast down; to overthrow.
  • transitive v. To inflict some great injury or hurt upon, causing continued pain or mental distress; to trouble grievously; to torment.
  • transitive v. To make low or humble.
  • Afflicted.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To strike down; prostrate; overthrow; rout.
  • To distress with mental or bodily pain; trouble greatly or grievously; harass or torment: as, to be afflicted with the gout, or by persecution.
  • Synonyms Afflict, Distress, Trouble, Harass, Torment; try, pain, hurt, plague, persecute. Of these words, afflict implies the most spiritual effect, the greatest depth and continuance of sorrow. To distress is a more outward act, bringing one into straitness of circumstances or feeling, so that there is more anxiety for the future, while perhaps the afflicted person knows the full measure of his loss and is wholly occupied with the past. To trouble is a lighter act, involving perhaps confusion or uncertainty of mind, and especially embarrassment. Harass, as applied to mind or body, suggests the infliction of the weariness that comes from the continuance or repetition of trying experiences, so that there is not time for rest. Torment implies the infliction of acute pain, physical or mental, and is frequently used in the sense of harassing by frequent return. The use of afflicted otherwise than of persons severally or collectively is highly figurative or poetic: as, my afflicted fortunes; the other words have freer figurative use. See affliction.
  • Afflicted; distressed.
  • n. Conflict; struggle.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cause great unhappiness for; distress
  • v. cause physical pain or suffering in

Etymologies

Middle English afflighten, from afflight, disturbed, frightened, from Latin afflictum, past participle of afflīgere, to cast down : ad-, ad- + flīgere, to strike.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French aflicter, from Latin afflictare ("to damage, harass, torment"), frequentative of affligere ("to dash down, overthrow"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • reoccurring dream that afflicts many city dwellers that involves the discovery of new, previously unearthed rooms in their apartments.

    February 20, 2014

  • Railroad telegraph shorthand for "advise what can be done" --US Railway Assn. Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 19, 2013