Main definitions of plight in English

: plight1plight2

plight1

noun

  • A dangerous, difficult, or otherwise unfortunate situation:

    ‘we must direct our efforts towards relieving the plight of children living in poverty’
    • ‘What he found shocked him but also made him more determined than ever to alert others to the plight of those living without clean water and sanitation.’
    • ‘The Monarchy did not at once learn its lesson, and little was done to relieve the plight of the peasantry.’
    • ‘However, it is difficult not to feel some sympathy towards the plight of university principals.’
    • ‘They wept over the plight of the unfortunate individual and his difficult life of travail.’
    • ‘One cannot blame her for feeling this way at all, given her difficult plight.’
    • ‘Her plight was exceptionally difficult since she had lost her company commander also.’
    • ‘Katy has cerebral palsy, kidney problems and learning difficulties but Mr Hulme is not swayed by her plight.’
    • ‘The international community should make the situation better by responding rapidly to the plight of the victims of the civil war in the Congo.’
    • ‘A lot is made of her intelligence, which has the unfortunate effect of implying that her plight would somehow be less painful if she were stupid.’
    • ‘They do this in order to reflect on God and on the plight of the unfortunate who do not have enough food.’
    • ‘We've closed our eyes to the plight of those living in totalitarian or theocratic oppression.’
    • ‘You know a play is in trouble when the plight of a stalked woman elicits neither sympathy nor concern.’
    • ‘They will be judged on their individual plight and circumstances as every refugee is.’
    • ‘In order to prove a point about the alienation of the intellectual, I would like to examine the plights of two women in tricky situations.’
    • ‘It is the decency of ordinary Americans that has made all the difference to the plight of the unfortunate ones.’
    • ‘This being the situation in the capital, one can well imagine the plight in other parts of the state.’
    • ‘Unfortunately Evan's conclusion distracts us from the plight of refugees.’
    • ‘But as the first help trickled in on Sunday, it was the plight of the living that seemed the most desperate.’
    • ‘I am fully sympathetic with their plight and the difficult conditions under which they often have to survive.’
    • ‘Never mind the irony of the situation - the plight of those we went to help along the coast, just a few kilometres south.’
    difficult situation, awkward situation, mess, difficulty, problematic situation, issue, quandary, trouble, muddle, mare's nest, crisis
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French plit fold. The -gh- spelling is by association with plight.

Pronunciation:

plight

/plʌɪt/

Main definitions of plight in English

: plight1plight2

plight2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]archaic
  • 1 Pledge or solemnly promise (one's faith or loyalty):

    ‘men to plighted vows were faithful’
    • ‘Under the apple boughs, there did I take you when our troth was plighted, there gave my hand and vows, and there you were requited, where once your mother was abased and slighted.’
    • ‘Betrothal vows were often as binding as wedding vows, and ‘plighting the troth’ was often an excuse to consummate the marriage ahead of the actual ceremony.’
    • ‘As the car made its way to that exact place - home - she felt as though she was plighting with something that should have just been left alone.’
    • ‘It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778.’
    • ‘In benign triumph the Cardinal draws Raphael by the wrist towards his niece for the contractual plighting of hands but she, noticing Raphael's distaste, is slow to unfold her arms.’
    • ‘When she reaches the subject of current events, however, she seems to me to verge on the fantasy to which policy now appears plighted, and which events seem unable to dislodge.’
    • ‘She laughs aloud turning finally once more to her plighted cousin.’
    • ‘By ‘ulterior plighting’ I mean ulterior trothing with death.’
    1. 1.1be plighted to Be engaged to be married to.
      • ‘The hero tells the heroine that he has nothing to give her, and is plighted to another woman.’
      • ‘Leye. having been plighted to Konnon, is joined to him in spirit after her death.’

Phrases

  • plight one's troth

Origin

Old English plihtan ‘endanger’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch plicht and German Pflicht duty. The current sense is recorded only from Middle English, but is probably original, in view of the related Germanic words.

Pronunciation:

plight

/plʌɪt/