What does plight mean?

Definitions for plight

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. predicament, quandary, plightnoun

    a situation from which extrication is difficult especially an unpleasant or trying one

    "finds himself in a most awkward predicament"; "the woeful plight of homeless people"

  2. plight, trothverb

    a solemn pledge of fidelity

  3. betroth, engage, affiance, plightverb

    give to in marriage

  4. pledge, plightverb

    promise solemnly and formally

    "I pledge that I will honor my wife"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Plightnoun

    Etymology: This word Stephen Skinner imagines to be derived from the Dutch, plicht, office or employment; but Franciscus Junius observes, that pliht , Saxon, signifies distress or pressing danger; whence, I suppose, plight was derived, it being generally used in a bad sense.

    When as the careful dwarf had told,
    And made ensample of their mournful sight
    Unto his master, he no longer would
    There dwell in peril of like painful plight. Fa. Queen.

    I think myself in better plight for a lender than you are. William Shakespeare.

    Beseech your highness,
    My women may be with me; for, you see,
    My plight requires it. William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale.

    They in lowliest plight repentant stood
    Praying. John Milton, Par. Lost, b. xi.

    Thou must not here
    Lie in this miserable loathsome plight. John Milton.

    Most perfect hero tried in heaviest plight
    Of labours huge and hard. John Milton.

    Who abuseth his cattle and starves them for meat,
    By carting or plowing, his gaine is not great;
    Where he that with labour can use them aright,
    Hath gaine to his comfort, and cattel in plight. Thomas Tusser.

    That lord, whose hand must take my plight, shall carry Half my love with him, half my care and duty. William Shakespeare.

    Yclad, for fear of scorching air,
    All in a silken camus, lilly white,
    Purfled upon with many a folded plight. Fairy Queen.

  2. To Plightverb

    Etymology: plichten, Dutch.

    He plighted his right hand
    Unto another love, and to another land. Fairy Queen.

    Saint Withold
    Met the night mare, and her name told,
    Bid her alight, and her troth plight. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    I again in Henry’s royal name,
    Give thee her hand for sign of plighted faith. William Shakespeare.

    Here my inviolable faith I plight,
    Lo, thou be my defence, I, thy delight. Dryden.

    New loves you seek,
    New vows to plight, and plighted vows to break. Dryden.

    I’ll never mix my plighted hands with thine,
    While such a cloud of mischiefs hangs about us. Addison.

    Her head she fondly would aguise
    With gaudie girlonds, or fresh flowrets dight
    About her neck, or rings of rushes plight. Fairy Queen.

    I took it for a fairy vision
    Of some gay creatures of the element,
    That in the colours of the rainbow live,
    And play i’ th’ plighted clouds. John Milton.


  1. plight

    Plight is a difficult, complicated or dangerous situation or condition. It often refers to someone's unfavorable or unfortunate circumstances or condition in life.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Plight

    imp. & p. p. of Plight, to pledge

  2. Plight

    imp. & p. p. of Pluck

  3. Plightverb

    to weave; to braid; to fold; to plait

  4. Plightnoun

    a network; a plait; a fold; rarely a garment

  5. Plightnoun

    that which is exposed to risk; that which is plighted or pledged; security; a gage; a pledge

  6. Plightnoun

    condition; state; -- risk, or exposure to danger, often being implied; as, a luckless plight

  7. Plightnoun

    to pledge; to give as a pledge for the performance of some act; as, to plight faith, honor, word; -- never applied to property or goods

  8. Plightnoun

    to promise; to engage; to betroth

  9. Etymology: [OE. pliten; probably through Old French, fr. LL. plectare, L. plectere. See Plait, Ply.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Plight

    plīt, n. something exposed to risk: security: pledge: engagement: promise.—v.t. to pledge: to promise solemnly: to give as security.—n. Plight′er, one who, or that which, plights. [A.S. pliht, risk, danger—plión, to imperil; cog. with Dut. pligt, Ger. pflicht, an obligation.]

  2. Plight

    plīt, n. condition: state (either good or bad). [O. Fr. plite—L. plicitus, plicāre, to fold.]

  3. Plight

    plīt, v.t. to plait, to braid, to weave.—n. (Spens.) a plait, a fold. [L. plectĕre, freq. of plicäre, to fold.]

Matched Categories

How to pronounce plight?

How to say plight in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of plight in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of plight in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of plight in a Sentence

  1. Danish Siddiqui:

    Photographs really helped highlight the plight (of Rohingya refugees), as a photojournalist you need to capture everything in one frame ... In that picture you can see the plume of smoke, the boat, the refugees ... All the elements were there to tell the story.

  2. Devon Jerome Crawford:

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel is implicated in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald, this killing indicates the detachment of city leaders from the plight of black, teenage youth on the South Side of Chicago and a willingness by the city to criminalize blackness as opposed to reforming structural inequality.

  3. Cynthia Cortes:

    We're doing our part from wherever we are around the world to bring light into the Venezuelan plight. And there's invaders in our embassy that are not Venezuelans, this is the Venezuelan people for Venezuelan democracy ; this is not about right or left in the world. I hope and I beg that people don't use my country and the suffering of my people for their own personal flags that have nothing to do with what's going on.

  4. Alec Baldwin:

    I've done a lot of environmental work back home related to climate change. I've tried to be as big of a rock in (their) shoe as I can to the oil industry and the nuclear industry. I'm heavy-heavy coming down on extractive industries in the United States and abroad. But the plight of indigenous people -- which is why we're here -- I hadn't thought about this until now. I had no idea who Diana Rios was or who her father was -- and the guy was killed by hit men for illegal logging obligations.

  5. John F. Kennedy:

    The high office of the President has been used to foment a plot to destroy the American's freedom and before I leave office, I must inform the citizen of this plight.

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Translations for plight

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"plight." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 3 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/plight>.

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    (of a flowering plant) having two cotyledons in the seed
    • A. dicotyledonous
    • B. tenebrous
    • C. irascible
    • D. commensal

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