What does afflict mean?

Definitions for afflict

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word afflict.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. afflictverb

    cause great unhappiness for; distress

    "she was afflicted by the death of her parents"

  2. afflict, smiteverb

    cause physical pain or suffering in

    "afflict with the plague"


  1. afflictverb

    To cause (someone) pain, suffering or distress.

  2. Etymology: From aflicter, from afflictare, frequentative of affligere.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To AFFLICTverb

    Etymology: afflicto, afflictum, Lat.

    In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you. Leviticus, xvi. 29.

    Give not over thy mind to heaviness, and afflict not thyself in thine own counsel. Ecclus, xxx. 21.

    For a father afflicted with untimely mourning, when he hath made an image of his child soon taken away, now honoured him as a God, which was then a dead man, and delivered to those that were under him, ceremonies and sacrifices. Wisdom.

    It teacheth us, how God thought fit to plague and afflict them, it doth not appoint in what form and manner we ought to punish the sin of idolatry in others. Richard Hooker, b. v. § 17.

    O coward conscience! how dost thou afflict me?
    The lights burn blue —— Is it not dead midnight?
    Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh. William Shakespeare, Richard III.

    A melancholy tear afflicts my eye,
    And my heart labours with a sudden sigh. Matthew Prior.

    The mother was so afflicted at the loss of a fine boy, who was her only son, that she died for grief of it. Joseph Addison, Spect.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Afflictverb

    to strike or cast down; to overthrow

  2. Afflictverb

    to inflict some great injury or hurt upon, causing continued pain or mental distress; to trouble grievously; to torment

  3. Afflictverb

    to make low or humble

  4. Afflict


  5. Etymology: [L. afflictus, p. p.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Afflict

    af-flikt′, v.t. to give continued pain, distress, or grief: to harass, or vex.—pa.p. Afflict′ed, harassed by disease of body or mind: suffering.—adj. Afflict′ing, distressing.—n. Afflic′tion, state or cause of pain or distress: misery: loss of friends, sickness, persecution. &c.—adj. Afflict′ive, causing distress. [L. affligĕre, flictumad, to, fligĕre, to dash to the ground.]

Suggested Resources

  1. Afflict

    Inflict vs. Afflict -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Inflict and Afflict.

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How to pronounce afflict?

How to say afflict in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of afflict in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of afflict in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of afflict in a Sentence

  1. Ecclesiastes:

    Give not over thy soul to sorrow and afflict not thyself in thy own counsel. Gladness of heart is the life of man and the joyfulness of man is length of days.

  2. Finley Peter Dunne:

    Comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.

  3. Cardinal Richelieu:

    War is one of the scourges with which it has pleased God to afflict men.

  4. John Kenneth Galbraith, Guardian (London, 28 July 1989):

    In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong.

  5. Aneurin Bevan:

    Now, the vicissitudes that afflict the individual have their source in society. It is this situation that has given currency to the phrase social forces. Personal relations have given way to impersonal ones. The Great Society has arrived and the task of our generation is to bring it under control. The study of how it is to be done is the function of politics.

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"afflict." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 27 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/afflict>.

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    dark brown mustelid of woodlands of Eurasia that gives off an unpleasant odor when threatened
    • A. couvade
    • B. foumart
    • C. defilement
    • D. congius

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