9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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.
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Examples from the web for afflicting
  • When extracted, these chemicals can serve as pesticides against common pests afflicting your garden.
  • There are many mosaic viruses, each afflicting a different plant.
  • He scarcely allowed his body what was necessary to sustain life, and found out every day new ways of afflicting and mortifying it.
  • The confusion of aims afflicting the space program from the beginning was in essence a confusion of time frames.
  • Extreme heat had been preceded by weeks of rain, and rot was afflicting some of the other fruits and vegetables.
  • It is such a sad and divisive argument, fought by adults but afflicting students.
  • The misery afflicting the country has no political affiliation.
  • They tend to have gone to see many doctors in search of a medical cure for whatever is afflicting them.
  • Attention-deficit disorder is afflicting seniors too.
  • Tunnel trouble is only one of the woes afflicting the book trade.
British Dictionary definitions for afflicting


deeply distressing; painful


(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
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Word Origin and History for afflicting



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
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