See more synonyms for inflict on
verb (used with object)
  1. to impose as something that must be borne or suffered: to inflict punishment.
  2. to impose (anything unwelcome): The regime inflicted burdensome taxes on the people.
  3. to deal or deliver, as a blow.

Origin of inflict

1520–30; < Latin inflīctus past participle of inflīgere to strike or dash against, equivalent to in- in-2 + flīg- (stem of flīgere to beat down) + -tus past participle suffix
Related formsin·flict·a·ble, adjectivein·flict·er, in·flic·tor, nounin·flic·tive, adjectivepre·in·flict, verb (used with object)un·in·flict·ed, adjective
Can be confusedafflict infect inflict Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for inflicted

Contemporary Examples of inflicted

Historical Examples of inflicted

  • Fifty lashes is a maximum punishment, inflicted only for the gravest crimes.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • As she smiled and listened, Evelyn dreamed not of the anguish she inflicted.

  • The greatest wrong you can inflict upon me will be inflicted by your desertion.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • Lisarda, however, continued, unconscious of the pang she had inflicted.

    Gomez Arias

    Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso

  • That fourth wound he knew had not been inflicted by the half-breed.

    The Night Riders

    Ridgwell Cullum

British Dictionary definitions for inflicted


verb (tr)
  1. (often foll by on or upon) to impose (something unwelcome, such as pain, oneself, etc)
  2. rare to cause to suffer; afflict (with)
  3. to deal out (blows, lashes, etc)
Derived Formsinflictable, adjectiveinflicter or inflictor, nouninfliction, nouninflictive, adjective

Word Origin for inflict

C16: from Latin inflīgere to strike (something) against, dash against, from flīgere 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 inflicted



1560s, from Latin inflictus, past participle of infligere "to strike or dash against," from in- "on, against" (see in- (2)) + fligere (past participle flictus) "to dash, strike" (see afflict). You inflict trouble on someone; you afflict someone with trouble. Shame on you.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper