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’
    • ‘Over the coming weeks, we'll be highlighting how organic farming can provide solutions to the seemingly intractable problems afflicting our food chain.’
    • ‘There are simply too many socioeconomic problems afflicting the educational setting for such a fast turnaround.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A number of serious diseases afflict the population, including malaria, tuberculosis, and cholera.’
    • ‘The problem usually afflicts rural areas, where deep well drilling hits arsenic-rich aquifers.’
    • ‘This will remove the problems afflicting society, particularly those affecting the working class majority.’
    • ‘When we are afflicted with such illnesses, we expect to recover quickly and fully.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘All joking aside, the most important health problem afflicting our nation right now is obesity, according to the National Institute of Health.’
    • ‘It found no cardiac benefit in those already somewhat afflicted by heart problems.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Similar problems afflict many other European universities.’
    • ‘Of course, it does not mean he is not familiar with the issues and problems afflicting the two suburbs.’
    • ‘The decline of the world's fish stocks is, next to global warming, probably the greatest problem afflicting our environmental commons.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The document identified several problems afflicting the new curriculum.’
    • ‘At least the Prime Minister has acknowledged one of the most pressing problems afflicting rural areas: the alarming demise of sub-post offices.’
    • ‘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.’
    trouble, bother, burden, distress, cause trouble to, cause suffering to, beset, harass, worry, oppress, annoy, vex, irritate, exasperate, strain, stress, tax
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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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But if that path is afflicted, the astrologer can suggest alternatives.’
      • ‘Where afflicted or badly placed, Jupiter will produce negative traits through excess or weakness.’
      • ‘A planet in detriment or fall is in a precarious condition, more so if it is peregrine or otherwise afflicted.’
      • ‘It is cadent from the Ascendant and afflicted by a square to Saturn.’


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’.