Definition of afflict in English:



  • 1 (of a problem or illness) cause pain or trouble to; affect adversely.

    ‘his younger child was afflicted with a skin disease’
    ‘serious ills afflict the industry’
    ‘he comforted the afflicted’
    • ‘The word from the World Health Organisation is that by the year 2020, depression will be the second most common health problem afflicting our population.’
    • ‘A number of serious diseases afflict the population, including malaria, tuberculosis, and cholera.’
    • ‘At least the Prime Minister has acknowledged one of the most pressing problems afflicting rural areas: the alarming demise of sub-post offices.’
    • ‘Over the coming weeks, we'll be highlighting how organic farming can provide solutions to the seemingly intractable problems afflicting our food chain.’
    • ‘Of course, it does not mean he is not familiar with the issues and problems afflicting the two suburbs.’
    • ‘All joking aside, the most important health problem afflicting our nation right now is obesity, according to the National Institute of Health.’
    • ‘To be sure, the social and economic problems afflicting these nations are acute, but the current crisis is at root a political one, and progress will not come without serious reform.’
    • ‘The document identified several problems afflicting the new curriculum.’
    • ‘The problem usually afflicts rural areas, where deep well drilling hits arsenic-rich aquifers.’
    • ‘Companies have made great advances in tackling health problems afflicting dancers, but those could be lost if proper practices are not maintained at all levels of the profession, he said.’
    • ‘There are simply too many socioeconomic problems afflicting the educational setting for such a fast turnaround.’
    • ‘They claim they are too easy a target for the game's governing bodies who ought to be looking elsewhere to help ease the financial problems afflicting the game at a lower level.’
    • ‘This will remove the problems afflicting society, particularly those affecting the working class majority.’
    • ‘This problem afflicts a quarter of all irrigated land and is most acute in Pakistan, where two million hectares have been lost to high soil salinity.’
    • ‘It found no cardiac benefit in those already somewhat afflicted by heart problems.’
    • ‘When we are afflicted with such illnesses, we expect to recover quickly and fully.’
    • ‘The decline of the world's fish stocks is, next to global warming, probably the greatest problem afflicting our environmental commons.’
    • ‘A vast array of social problems afflict a country so recently traumatized by war.’
    • ‘Part of the reason was that the kings were able to insulate themselves from problems afflicting the rest of society.’
    • ‘Similar problems afflict many other European universities.’
    trouble, bother, burden, distress, cause trouble to, cause suffering to, beset, harass, worry, oppress, annoy, vex, irritate, exasperate, strain, stress, tax
    torment, plague, blight, bedevil, pursue, rack, smite, curse, harrow, grip, visit, take
    discommode, ail
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    1. 1.1Astrology (of a celestial body) be in a stressful aspect with (another celestial body or a point on the ecliptic)
      ‘Jupiter is afflicted by Mars in opposition’
      • ‘It is cadent from the Ascendant and afflicted by a square to Saturn.’
      • ‘A planet in detriment or fall is in a precarious condition, more so if it is peregrine or otherwise afflicted.’
      • ‘Saturn, the Greater Malefic and ruler of the 8th house, is stronger than the victim's significator, the Moon, and afflicts the 11 th house of hopes and dreams.’
      • ‘Where afflicted or badly placed, Jupiter will produce negative traits through excess or weakness.’
      • ‘But if that path is afflicted, the astrologer can suggest alternatives.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘deject, humiliate’): from Latin afflictare knock about, harass, or from afflict- knocked down, weakened: both from the verb affligere, from ad- to + fligere to strike, dash.