afflict

[uh-flikt]
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; 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 formsaf·flict·ed·ness, nounaf·flict·er, nouno·ver·af·flict, verb (used with object)pre·af·flict, verb (used with object)self-af·flict·ing, adjectiveun·af·flict·ed, adjectiveun·af·flict·ed·ly, adverbun·af·flict·ed·ness, nounun·af·flict·ing, adjective
Can be confusedafflict infect inflict

Synonyms for afflict

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for afflicting

Contemporary Examples of afflicting

Historical Examples of afflicting

  • Privilege has beheld an afflicting spectacle for many years past.

  • You talk of my afflicting the child, and then make a helpless guy like that of her!

    Eight Cousins

    Louisa M. Alcott

  • It was as amazing as if we had been told that God grieves with us instead of afflicting us, as we held.

  • The thorn stands rather for something painful and afflicting.

  • Oh, no, sleep was not for him; his trouble was too haunting, too afflicting for that.

    The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)


British Dictionary definitions for afflicting

afflicting

adjective
  1. deeply distressing; painful

afflict

verb
  1. (tr) to cause suffering or unhappiness to; distress greatly
Derived Formsafflictive, adjective

Word Origin for afflict

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

Word Origin and History for afflicting

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