1350-1400;Middle Englishafflicten < Latinafflīctus distressed, past participle of afflīgere to cast down (af-af- + flīg- knock + -tus past participle suffix); replacing Middle Englishaflight < Middle Frenchaflit < L. See inflict
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.