• synonyms


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

Examples from the Web for inflictor

Historical Examples of inflictor

  • They have rather lent security to the inflictor of its sufferings.

    Some Conditions of Child Life in England

    Benjamin Waugh

  • I can offer no suggestion as to how the inflictor of the wound got in or out.

  • If any one ventured to complain, 'twas the sufferer, not the inflictor who was treated as culpable.

  • That is, the patient will suffer, although neither he nor the inflictor of the injury will attribute it to its real cause.

    Notes on Nursing

    Florence Nightingale

  • But it is also plain that the decay had begun when the Puritan was the victim instead of the inflictor of persecution.

British Dictionary definitions for inflictor


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)
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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 inflictor



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper