1 [plahyt]
a condition, state, or situation, especially an unfavorable or unfortunate one: to find oneself in a sorry plight.

1350–1400; Middle English plit fold, condition, bad condition < Anglo-French (cognate with Middle French pleit plait) fold, manner of folding, condition; spelling apparently influenced by plight2 in obsolete sense “danger”

case. See predicament. Unabridged


2 [plahyt]
verb (used with object)
to pledge (one's troth) in engagement to marry.
to bind (someone) by a pledge, especially of marriage.
to give in pledge, as one's word, or to pledge, as one's honor.
Archaic. pledge.

before 1000; (noun) Middle English; Old English pliht danger, risk; cognate with Dutch plicht, German Pflicht duty, obligation; (v.) Middle English plighten, Old English plihtan (derivative of the noun) to endanger, risk, pledge; cognate with Old High German phlichten to engage oneself, Middle Dutch plihten to guarantee

plighter, noun
unplighted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
plight1 (plaɪt)
a condition of extreme hardship, danger, etc
[C14 plit, from Old French pleit fold, plait; probably influenced by Old English pliht peril, plight²]

plight2 (plaɪt)
1.  to give or pledge (one's word): he plighted his word to attempt it
2.  to promise formally or pledge (allegiance, support, etc): to plight aid
3.  plight one's troth
 a.  to make a promise of marriage
 b.  to give one's solemn promise
4.  archaic, dialect or a solemn promise, esp of engagement; pledge
[Old English pliht peril; related to Old High German, German Pflicht duty]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"pledge," obsolete except in archaic plight one's troth, from O.E. pligtan "endanger," verb form of pliht "danger, risk," from P.Gmc. *pleg- (cf. O.E. pleon "to risk the loss of, expose to danger," O.Fris., M.Du. plicht "care, carefulness," O.H.G. pfliht, Ger. pflicht "obligation, duty," M.Du. plien
"to answer for, guarantee").

"condition or state (usually bad)," c.1175, from Anglo-Fr. plit, O.Fr. pleit "condition" (13c.), originally "way of folding," from V.L. *plictum, from L. plicitum, neut. pp. of L. plicare "to fold, lay" (see ply (v.)). Originally in neutral sense (as in modern Fr. en bon plit
"in good condition"), sense of "harmful state" is probably from convergence with plight (v.) via notion of "entangling risk, pledge or promise with great risk to the pledger."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
If you are not happy with your plight, do something about it.
This is the only course of action we have left since you continually turn a
  deaf ear to our plight.
Countless other plant and animal species share the tiger's plight.
As the plight of the colonies seemed more and more hopeless, Washington was
  offered dictatorial powers.
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