transitive verb Etymology: Middle English, from Latin afflictus, past participle of affligere to cast down, from ad- + fligere to strike — more at profligate Date: 14th century 1. obsolete a. humble b. overthrow 2. a. to distress so severely as to cause persistent suffering or anguish <
afflicted with arthritis
b. trouble, injure Synonyms: afflict, try, torment, torture, rack mean to inflict on a person something that is hard to bear. afflict is a general term and applies to the causing of pain or suffering or of acute annoyance, embarrassment, or any distress <
ills that afflict the elderly
. try suggests imposing something that strains the powers of endurance or of self-control <
children often try their parents' patience
. torment suggests persecution or the repeated inflicting of suffering or annoyance <
a horse tormented by flies
. torture adds the implication of causing unbearable pain or suffering <
tortured by a sense of guilt
. rack stresses straining or wrenching <
a body racked by pain

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Afflict — Af*flict , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Afflicted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Afflicting}.] [L. afflictus, p. p. of affigere to cast down, deject; ad + fligere to strike: cf. OF. aflit, afflict, p. p. Cf. {Flagellate}.] 1. To strike or cast down; to overthrow.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • afflict — afflict, try, torment, torture, rack mean to inflict upon a person something which he finds hard to bear. Something or someone that causes pain, disability, suffering, acute annoyance, irritation, or embarrassment may be said to afflict a person… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Afflict — Af*flict , p. p. & a. [L. afflictus, p. p.] Afflicted. [Obs.] Becon. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • afflict — I verb agonize, anguish, assault, bruise, burden, chasten, discommode, discompose, disquiet, distress, grate, harm, hurt, impair, infect, inflict, irritate, mistreat, pain, plague, punish, rasp, sicken, smite, strike, victimize II index affront,… …   Law dictionary

  • afflict — (v.) late 14c., to cast down, from O.Fr. aflicter, from L. afflictare to damage, harass, torment, frequentative of affligere (pp. afflictus) to dash down, overthrow, from ad to (see AD (Cf. ad )) + fligere (pp. flictus) to strike, from PIE …   Etymology dictionary

  • afflict — [v] cause or become hurt agonize, annoy, beset, bother, burden, crucify, distress, grieve, harass, harrow, harry, irk, lacerate, martyr, oppress, pain, pester, plague, press, rack, smite, strike, torment, torture, trouble, try, vex, worry, wound; …   New thesaurus

  • afflict — ► VERB ▪ cause pain or suffering to. DERIVATIVES affliction noun. ORIGIN Latin afflictare knock about, harass , or affligere knock down, weaken …   English terms dictionary

  • afflict — [ə flikt′] vt. [< L afflictare, to injure, vex < afflictus, pp. of affligere, to strike down < ad , to + fligere: see INFLICT] 1. to cause pain or suffering to; distress very much 2. Obs. to overthrow …   English World dictionary

  • afflict — [14] When it originally entered English, afflict meant ‘overthrow’, reflecting its origins in Latin afflīgere ‘throw down’, a compound verb formed from the prefix ad ‘to’ and flīgere ‘strike’. English afflict comes either from the Latin past… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • afflict — inflict, afflict Both words are concerned with the suffering of unpleasant circumstances, but they have different constructions. Inflict has the unpleasantness as object, and afflict has the victim: • He knew also that the greater part of the… …   Modern English usage

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