- to distress with mental or bodily pain; trouble greatly or grievously: to be afflicted with arthritis.
- to overthrow; defeat.
- to humble.
Origin of afflict
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for afflict
He wanted to give a voice to the voiceless, comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.Obama Administration and Sotloff Family Battle Over Blame for Journalist’s Kidnapping
September 22, 2014
They want to take on authority and comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable and all that hoo-ha.On The Times' House Liberalism
August 27, 2012
Tina Brown: So performance anxiety must afflict writers as well as actors.Philip Roth Unbound: Interview Transcript
The Daily Beast Video
October 30, 2009
Certain aspects of enforced Germanization can but afflict all outsiders.In the Heart of Vosges
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?
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
- (tr) to cause suffering or unhappiness to; distress greatly
Word Origin and History for afflict
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.