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

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 question highlights some of the hypocrisy currently afflicting Republican partisans on the issue of infidelity.
Dr. Gingrich, or How the GOP Learned To Stop Worrying and Love an Adulterer Michael Medved January 21, 2012

A prominent agent used that telling phrase to describe the problem that was afflicting Cruise.
The Resurrection of Tom Cruise Kim Masters April 30, 2009

Exit might give them a nice export boost, relieving some of the crippling unemployment currently afflicting Italian workers.
Euro Crisis: Reheated Megan McArdle February 26, 2013

And the strokes themselves are extremely rare, afflicting an estimated two people out of every 100,000.
A Stroke That Hits Young Women Nicole LaPorte July 27, 2010

Historical Examples

We could judge of the extent of their sufferings from the afflicting sight we now saw.
An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans Lydia Maria Child

The distress consequent on this depreciation was great and afflicting.
The Life of George Washington, Vol. 4 (of 5) John Marshall

My heart is much affected in having to commence my journal on a foreign shore by recording such an afflicting event.
Memoir and Diary of John Yeardley, Minister of the Gospel John Yeardley

Doubtless God is just in afflicting us, and has his reasons.
The Catholic World. Volume II; Numbers 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. E. Rameur

They were too young to know that they were slaves, or to understand the nature of the afflicting separation.
The Underground Railroad William Still

deeply distressing; painful
(transitive) to cause suffering or unhappiness to; distress greatly

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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