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plague

[pleyg] /pleɪg/
noun
1.
an epidemic disease that causes high mortality; pestilence.
2.
an infectious, epidemic disease caused by a bacterium, Yersinia pestis, characterized by fever, chills, and prostration, transmitted to humans from rats by means of the bites of fleas.
3.
any widespread affliction, calamity, or evil, especially one regarded as a direct punishment by God:
a plague of war and desolation.
4.
any cause of trouble, annoyance, or vexation:
Uninvited guests are a plague.
verb (used with object), plagued, plaguing.
5.
to trouble, annoy, or torment in any manner:
The question of his future plagues him with doubt.
6.
to annoy, bother, or pester:
Ants plagued the picnickers.
7.
to smite with a plague, pestilence, death, etc.; scourge:
those whom the gods had plagued.
8.
to infect with a plague; cause an epidemic in or among:
diseases that still plague the natives of Ethiopia.
9.
to afflict with any evil:
He was plagued by allergies all his life.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English plage < Latin plāga stripe, wound, Late Latin: pestilence
Related forms
plaguer, noun
antiplague, noun, adjective
unplagued, adjective
Can be confused
plague, plaque.
Synonyms
4. nuisance, bother, torment. 6. harass, vex, harry, hector, fret, worry, badger, irritate, disturb. See bother.

Plague, The

noun
1.
French La Peste. a novel (1947) by Albert Camus.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for plagues
  • It's a problem that plagues audio on tablets as a whole.
  • It's the biggest demon behind that pound-a-year weight creep that plagues many of us, a major diet study found.
  • But illegal fishing and unsustainable harvesting still plagues the industry.
  • Desert locust plagues may threaten the economic livelihood of one-tenth of the world's humans.
  • And that, in the end, is the problem that plagues all these books.
  • Foreign multinationals can, for example, alleviate the chicken-and-egg problem that plagues many new industries.
  • The lack of transparency plagues the bundling of loans into securities, too.
  • While pollution still plagues much of the world, progress is being made.
  • The question that plagues his party leaders is whether this beguiling wit will propel him to political success or risible failure.
  • He was never accused of participating in the corruption that plagues his country's political and economic life.
British Dictionary definitions for plagues

plague

/pleɪɡ/
noun
1.
any widespread and usually highly contagious disease with a high fatality rate
2.
an infectious disease of rodents, esp rats, transmitted to man by the bite of the rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis)
4.
something that afflicts or harasses
5.
(informal) an annoyance or nuisance
6.
a pestilence, affliction, or calamity on a large scale, esp when regarded as sent by God
7.
(archaic) used to express annoyance, disgust, etc: a plague on you
verb (transitive) plagues, plaguing, plagued
8.
to afflict or harass
9.
to bring down a plague upon
10.
(informal) to annoy
Derived Forms
plaguer, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin plāga pestilence, from Latin: a blow; related to Greek plēgē a stroke, Latin plangere to strike
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for plagues

plague

n.

late 14c., plage, "affliction, calamity, evil, scourge;" early 15c., "malignant disease," from Old French plage (14c.), from Late Latin plaga, used in Vulgate for "pestilence," from Latin plaga "stroke, wound," probably from root of plangere "to strike, lament (by beating the breast)," from or cognate with Greek (Doric) plaga "blow," from PIE *plak- (2) "to strike, to hit" (cf. Greek plazein "to drive away," plessein "to beat, strike;" Old English flocan "to strike, beat;" Gothic flokan "to bewail;" German fluchen, Old Frisian floka "to curse").

The Latin word also is the source of Old Irish plag (genitive plaige) "plague, pestilence," German Plage, Dutch plaage. Meaning "epidemic that causes many deaths" is from 1540s; specifically in reference to bubonic plague from c.1600. Modern spelling follows French, which had plague from 15c. Weakened sense of "anything annoying" is from c.1600.

v.

late 15c., from Middle Dutch plaghen, from plaghe (n.) "plague" (see plague (n.)). Sense of "bother, annoy" it is first recorded 1590s. Related: Plagued; plaguing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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plagues in Medicine

plague (plāg)
n.
A highly infectious, usually fatal, epidemic disease, especially bubonic plague.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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plagues in Science
plague
  (plāg)   
  1. Any of various highly infectious, usually fatal epidemic diseases.

  2. An often fatal disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, transmitted to humans usually by fleas that have bitten infected rats or other rodents. ◇ Bubonic plague, the most common type, is characterized by the tender, swollen lymph nodes called buboes, fever, clotting abnormalities of the blood, and tissue necrosis. An epidemic of bubonic plague in fourteenth-century Europe and Asia was known as the Black Death.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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plagues in Culture
plague [(playg)]

A highly contagious disease, such as bubonic plague, that spreads quickly throughout a population and causes widespread sickness and death.

Note: The term is also used to refer to widespread outbreaks of many kinds, such as a “plague of locusts.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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plagues in the Bible

a "stroke" of affliction, or disease. Sent as a divine chastisement (Num. 11:33; 14:37; 16:46-49; 2 Sam. 24:21). Painful afflictions or diseases, (Lev. 13:3, 5, 30; 1 Kings 8:37), or severe calamity (Mark 5:29; Luke 7:21), or the judgment of God, so called (Ex. 9:14). Plagues of Egypt were ten in number. (1.) The river Nile was turned into blood, and the fish died, and the river stank, so that the Egyptians loathed to drink of the river (Ex. 7:14-25). (2.) The plague of frogs (Ex. 8:1-15). (3.) The plague of lice (Heb. kinnim, properly gnats or mosquitoes; comp. Ps. 78:45; 105:31), "out of the dust of the land" (Ex. 8:16-19). (4.) The plague of flies (Heb. arob, rendered by the LXX. dog-fly), Ex. 8:21-24. (5.) The murrain (Ex.9:1-7), or epidemic pestilence which carried off vast numbers of cattle in the field. Warning was given of its coming. (6.) The sixth plague, of "boils and blains," like the third, was sent without warning (Ex.9:8-12). It is called (Deut. 28:27) "the botch of Egypt," A.V.; but in R.V., "the boil of Egypt." "The magicians could not stand before Moses" because of it. (7.) The plague of hail, with fire and thunder (Ex. 9:13-33). Warning was given of its coming. (Comp. Ps. 18:13; 105:32, 33). (8.) The plague of locusts, which covered the whole face of the earth, so that the land was darkened with them (Ex. 10:12-15). The Hebrew name of this insect, _arbeh_, points to the "multitudinous" character of this visitation. Warning was given before this plague came. (9.) After a short interval the plague of darkness succeeded that of the locusts; and it came without any special warning (Ex. 10:21-29). The darkness covered "all the land of Egypt" to such an extent that "they saw not one another." It did not, however, extend to the land of Goshen. (10.) The last and most fearful of these plagues was the death of the first-born of man and of beast (Ex. 11:4, 5; 12:29,30). The exact time of the visitation was announced, "about midnight", which would add to the horror of the infliction. Its extent also is specified, from the first-born of the king to the first-born of the humblest slave, and all the first-born of beasts. But from this plague the Hebrews were completely exempted. The Lord "put a difference" between them and the Egyptians. (See PASSOVER.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with plagues

plague

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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