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afflict

[uh-flikt] /əˈflɪkt/
verb (used with object)
1.
to distress with mental or bodily pain; trouble greatly or grievously:
to be afflicted with arthritis.
2.
Obsolete.
  1. to overthrow; defeat.
  2. to humble.
Origin of afflict
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English afflicten < Latin afflīctus distressed, past participle of afflīgere to cast down (af- af- + flīg- knock + -tus past participle suffix); replacing Middle English aflight < Middle French aflit < L. See inflict
Related forms
afflictedness, noun
afflicter, noun
overafflict, verb (used with object)
preafflict, verb (used with object)
self-afflicting, adjective
unafflicted, adjective
unafflictedly, adverb
unafflictedness, noun
unafflicting, adjective
Can be confused
afflict, infect, inflict.
Synonyms
1. vex, harass, torment, plague.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for afflict
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Certain aspects of enforced Germanization can but afflict all outsiders.

    In the Heart of Vosges Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • And, on the other hand, say I had a sense of it, would it not afflict me beyond measure?

  • Day or night it was all one with us; never did our tormentors cease to afflict us.

    In the Days of Drake J. S. Fletcher
  • The news which he had heard did afflict Lord George very much.

    Is He Popenjoy?

    Anthony Trollope
  • But these are torments which afflict the wealthy only; and for this I at least am sincerely thankful.

    The Book-Hunter at Home P. B. M. Allan
  • He does not grieve willingly, nor afflict the children of men.

    True Words for Brave Men Charles Kingsley
  • He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

    True Words for Brave Men Charles Kingsley
British Dictionary definitions for afflict

afflict

/əˈflɪkt/
verb
1.
(transitive) to cause suffering or unhappiness to; distress greatly
Derived Forms
afflictive, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin afflictus, past participle of afflīgere to knock against, from flīgere to knock, to strike
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for afflict
v.

late 14c., "to cast down," from Old French aflicter, from Latin afflictare "to damage, harass, torment," frequentative of affligere (past participle afflictus) "to dash down, overthrow," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + fligere (past participle flictus) "to strike," from PIE root *bhlig- "to strike" (cf. Greek phlibein "to press, crush," Czech blizna "scar," Welsh blif "catapult"). Transferred meaning of "trouble, distress," is first recorded 1530s. Related: Afflicted; afflicting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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