Afflict



to distress with mental or bodily pain; trouble greatly or grievously:
to be afflicted with arthritis.
Obsolete.

to overthrow; defeat.
to humble.

Contemporary Examples

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 Josh Rogin September 21, 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 Michael Tomasky August 26, 2012

Tina Brown: So performance anxiety must afflict writers as well as actors.
Philip Roth Unbound: Interview Transcript The Daily Beast Video October 29, 2009

Historical Examples

His wages being allowed for which he served before: he shall not afflict him violently in thy sight.
The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version Various

And, on the other hand, say I had a sense of it, would it not afflict me beyond measure?
The Memorable Thoughts of Socrates Xenophon

Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens.
Asiatic Breezes Oliver Optic

The news which he had heard did afflict Lord George very much.
Is He Popenjoy? Anthony Trollope

But, however brief his annoyance was, it was sufficiently acute to occasion him much pain, and to afflict those who loved him.
Life of Lord Byron, With His Letters And Journals, Vol. 5 (of 6) (Lord Byron) George Gordon Byron

He does not grieve willingly, nor afflict the children of men.
True Words for Brave Men Charles Kingsley

We know that out of it arise diseases, new to us, that afflict and destroy man.
The Human Drift Jack London

verb
(transitive) to cause suffering or unhappiness to; distress greatly
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.

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  • Afflicted

    to distress with mental or bodily pain; trouble greatly or grievously: to be afflicted with arthritis. Obsolete. to overthrow; defeat. to humble. Contemporary Examples 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 Josh Rogin September 21, […]

  • Afflicter

    to distress with mental or bodily pain; trouble greatly or grievously: to be afflicted with arthritis. Obsolete. to overthrow; defeat. to humble. verb (transitive) to cause suffering or unhappiness to; distress greatly v. late 14c., “to cast down,” from Old French aflicter, from Latin afflictare “to damage, harass, torment,” frequentative of affligere (past participle afflictus) […]



  • Afflicting

    to distress with mental or bodily pain; trouble greatly or grievously: to be afflicted with arthritis. Obsolete. to overthrow; defeat. to humble. Contemporary Examples “This Vanderbilt person is a perfect example,” Beyer says of the “PTSD” afflicting so many in the transgender community. Pressuring Journalists Won’t Protect Transgender People James Kirchick January 21, 2014 This […]

  • Affliction

    a state of pain, distress, or grief; misery: They sympathized with us in our affliction. a cause of mental or bodily pain, as sickness, loss, calamity, or persecution. Contemporary Examples I thought, if he had an affliction over half his face, maybe he was missing part of his mouth. Boardwalk Empire’s Scene-Stealer Jace Lacob October […]



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