"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[uh-flikt] /əˈflɪkt/
verb (used with object)
to distress with mental or bodily pain; trouble greatly or grievously:
to be afflicted with arthritis.
  1. to overthrow; defeat.
  2. to humble.
Origin of afflict
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
Related forms
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
Can be confused
afflict, infect, inflict.
1. vex, harass, torment, plague. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for afflicted
  • Healing the afflicted is not merely a matter of compassion.
  • But oxygen levels are unusually low, and run especially deep, in the afflicted area.
  • This novel's central figure is a woman ostensibly afflicted with hyperthymia — an excess of happiness.
  • The culture of poets in the academy can be afflicted by similar demarcations.
  • Yet given the chance, even tribes afflicted by disease and development can recover.
  • In China brownouts, caused by a shortage of coal, afflicted the country.
  • The afflicted were offered small stipends to confine themselves to the containment center, preventing further contamination.
  • Their immediate goal is limited to healing children afflicted with Batten disease, a rare but fatal neurodegenerative disorder.
  • But it has afflicted a greater portion of the population.
  • So far, no serious food-borne illness has afflicted us.
British Dictionary definitions for afflicted


(transitive) to cause suffering or unhappiness to; distress greatly
Derived Forms
afflictive, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin afflictus, past participle of afflīgere to knock against, from flīgere to knock, 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for afflicted

"person or persons in constant suffering of body or mind," 1650s, noun use of past participle adjective from afflict.



late 14c., "to cast down," from Old French aflicter, from Latin afflictare "to damage, harass, torment," frequentative of affligere (past participle afflictus) "to dash down, overthrow," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + fligere (past participle flictus) "to strike," from PIE root *bhlig- "to strike" (cf. Greek phlibein "to press, crush," Czech blizna "scar," Welsh blif "catapult"). Transferred meaning of "trouble, distress," is first recorded 1530s. Related: Afflicted; afflicting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for afflict

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for afflicted

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with afflicted

Nearby words for afflicted