2. mishap, trouble, tribulation, calamity, catastrophe, disaster. Affliction, adversity, misfortune, trial refer to an event or circumstance that is hard to bear. A misfortune is any adverse or unfavorable occurrence: He had the misfortune to break his leg. Affliction suggests not only a serious misfortune but the emotional effect of this: Blindness is an affliction. Adversity suggests a calamity or distress: Job remained patient despite all his adversities. Trial emphasizes the testing of one's character in undergoing misfortunes, trouble, etc.: His son's conduct was a great trial to him.