Plant Pathology.
  1. the rapid and extensive discoloration, wilting, and death of plant tissues.
  2. a disease so characterized.
any cause of impairment, destruction, ruin, or frustration: Extravagance was the blight of the family.
the state or result of being blighted or deteriorated; dilapidation; decay: urban blight.

verb (used with object)

to cause to wither or decay; blast: Frost blighted the crops.
to destroy; ruin; frustrate: Illness blighted his hopes.

verb (used without object)

to suffer blight.

Origin of blight

First recorded in 1605–15; of uncertain origin
Related formsblight·ing·ly, adverbun·blight·ed, adjectiveun·blight·ed·ly, adverbun·blight·ed·ness, noun

Synonyms for blight Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for blighted

Contemporary Examples of blighted

Historical Examples of blighted

  • He shaded the dinner, cooled the wines, chilled the gravy, and blighted the vegetables.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • Had she not deceived me, injured me—blighted my happiness for life?

  • I have blighted and withered the affections of his heart to that extent that he is not sure of me.

  • It is some comfort to know that everything will not be blighted hereabouts.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • There can be no doubt about it: we are blighted by the great destructiveness.

    Mountain Meditations

    L. Lind-af-Hageby

British Dictionary definitions for blighted



any plant disease characterized by withering and shrivelling without rottingSee also potato blight
any factor, such as bacterial attack or air pollution, that causes the symptoms of blight in plants
a person or thing that mars or prevents growth, improvement, or prosperity
an ugly urban district
the state or condition of being blighted or spoilt


to cause or suffer a blight
(tr) to frustrate or disappoint
(tr) to spoil; destroy

Word Origin for blight

C17: perhaps related to Old English blǣce rash; compare bleach
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 blighted



1610s, origin obscure; according to OED it emerged into literary speech from the talk of gardeners and farmers, perhaps ultimately from Old English blæce, blæcðu, a scrofulous skin condition and/or from Old Norse blikna "become pale." Used in a general way of agricultural diseases, sometimes with suggestion of "invisible baleful influence;" hence figurative sense of "anything which withers hopes or prospects or checks prosperity" (1828). Cf. slang blighter. Urban blight attested by 1935.



"afflict with blight," 1660s (implied in blighted), from blight (n.). Figurative use by 1712. Related: Blighted; blighting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

blighted in Science



Any of numerous plant diseases that cause leaves, stems, fruits, and tissues to wither and die. Rust, mildew, and smut are blights.
The bacterium, fungus, or virus that causes such a disease.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.