verb (used with object)
to distress with mental or bodily pain; trouble greatly or grievously: to be afflicted with arthritis.
to overthrow; defeat.
to humble.

1350–1400; Middle English afflicten < Latin afflīctus distressed, past participle of afflīgere to cast down (af- af- + flīg- knock + -tus past participle suffix); replacing Middle English aflight < Middle French aflit < L. See inflict

afflictedness, noun
afflicter, noun
overafflict, verb (used with object)
preafflict, verb (used with object)
self-afflicting, adjective
unafflicted, adjective
unafflictedly, adverb
unafflictedness, noun
unafflicting, adjective

afflict, infect, inflict.

1. vex, harass, torment, plague. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
afflict (əˈflɪkt)
(tr) to cause suffering or unhappiness to; distress greatly
[C14: from Latin afflictus, past participle of afflīgere to knock against, from flīgere to knock, to strike]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "to cast down," from O.Fr. afflicter, from L. afflictare "to damage, harass, torment," freq. of affligere (pp. afflictus) "to dash down, overthrow," from ad- "to" + fligere (pp. flictus) "to strike," from PIE base *bhlig- "to strike" (cf. Gk. phlibein "to press, crush," Czech blizna "scar,"
Welsh blif "catapult"). Transf. meaning of "trouble, distress," is first recorded 1530s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The job of the news media is supposed to be to afflict the comfortable and
  comfort the afflicted.
But this is not an option for tests for those diseases that afflict only those
  in the tropics.
Drug companies need little arm-twisting when it comes to investing their
  resources into diseases that afflict millions.
For example, diabetes and heart disease often occur together and both often
  afflict overweight people.
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