• WordNet 3.6
    • v inflict impose something unpleasant "The principal visited his rage on the students"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Boredom can lead to madness in parrots. When caged by themselves and neglected for long periods of time, these intelligent, sociable birds can easily become mentally ill. Many inflict wounds upon themselves, develop strange tics, and rip out their own feathers. The birds need constant interaction, affection, and mental stimulation; some bird authorities have determined that some parrot breeds have the mental abilities of a 5-year-old human child. Should a neglected parrot go mad, there is little that can be done to restore it to normalcy. In England, there are "mental institutions" for such unfortunate creatures.
    • v. t Inflict To give, cause, or produce by striking, or as if by striking; to apply forcibly; to lay or impose; to send; to cause to bear, feel, or suffer; as, to inflict blows; to inflict a wound with a dagger; to inflict severe pain by ingratitude; to inflict punishment on an offender; to inflict the penalty of death on a criminal. "What heart could wish, what hand inflict , this dire disgrace?""The persecution and the pain
      That man inflicts on all inferior kinds."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • inflict To lay on or impose as something that must be borne or suffered; cause to be suffered: as, to inflict punishment on offenders; to inflict a penalty on transgressors.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Inflict in-flikt′ to lay on: to impose, as punishment
    • ***


  • John Stuart Mill
    “The disease which inflicts bureaucracy and what they usually die from is routine.”
  • Seneca
    “A foolishness is inflicted with a hatred of itself.”
  • Andrew Carnegie
    “All honor's wounds are self-inflicted.”
  • Max Depree
    Max Depree
    “Leaders don't inflict pain -- they share pain.”
  • John Henry Newman
    John Henry Newman
    “It is almost a definition of a gentleman to say that he is one who never inflicts pain.”
  • Walter Russell
    Walter Russell
    “Mediocrity is self-inflicted and genius is self-bestowed.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. inflictus, p. p. of infligere, to strike on, to inflict; pref. in-, in, on + fligere, to strike. Cf. Flail
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. inflictus, infligĕrein, against, fligĕre, to strike.


In literature:

It was not like Helen to inflict the wrong kind on her; but it had all been Mrs Bradley's doing.
"Far to Seek" by Maud Diver
It seems that under certain circumstances the X ray is capable of inflicting a very serious wound.
"The Great Round World and What Is Going On In It, Vol. 1, No. 40, August 12, 1897" by Various
As if overcome with the sensation of inflicting such pain, the blacksmith shudders and draws back.
"Miss Caprice" by St. George Rathborne
The unnecessary infliction of pain is always to be avoided.
"Lameness of the Horse" by John Victor Lacroix
Either the wound was inflicted by his own hand, or it was inflicted by another's.
"The Grey Wig: Stories and Novelettes" by Israel Zangwill
Both pronounced upon her the self-inflicted verdict of eternal widowhood.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 54, No. 337, November, 1843" by Various
Therefore he will inflict punishment on you, but we shall not suffer punishment.
"Latin for Beginners" by Benjamin Leonard D'Ooge
This was a measure which inflicted enormous loss and damage.
"Orange and Green" by G. A. Henty
His engagement to her had only been the first of the crushing defeats which she had inflicted upon him.
"Prisoners" by Mary Cholmondeley
Yet, a man seated in a chair, and bent on self-destruction, might easily have inflicted the wound described by the Coroner's physician.
"The Substitute Prisoner" by Max Marcin
This is a statement made by a dying person as to how his injuries were inflicted.
"Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology" by W. G. Aitchison Robertson
And yet the evils inflicted by Jacobin France were less intense and less permanent than those exercised by her legislation.
"History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology" by John F. Hurst
She would not inflict herself on the one friend she had left.
"North of Fifty-Three" by Bertrand W. Sinclair
It is no longer necessary to inflict the extreme penalty.
"The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O'Iwa Inari" by James S. De Benneville
Defending troops can prevent a charge only when they can master the enemy's fire and inflict heavy losses upon him.
"Infantry Drill Regulations, United States Army, 1911" by United States War Department
I saw a large number of type wounds of entry and exit inflicted at a range of under fifty yards.
"Surgical Experiences in South Africa, 1899-1900" by George Henry Makins
Are such persons to be deterred by threats, or the actual infliction of punishment?
"Aurelian" by William Ware
The blacks had inflicted reiterated blows, and answered entreaties with threats of murder.
"The History of Tasmania , Volume II (of 2)" by John West
If he was injured, they would inflict a terrible vengeance.
"Lectures on the French Revolution" by John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton
In an instant I saw that such a knife had undoubtedly inflicted the wound in the dead man's breast.
"The Seven Secrets" by William Le Queux

In poetry:

Close to her mother's side she clings,
And mocks the death her folly brings
To gentle swains that feel the smarts
Her eyes inflict upon their hearts.
"A Paraphrase, Circa 1715" by Eugene Field
If God with sickness his sons afflicts,
Their foul transgressions are the fatal cause:
Whene'er he any punishment inflicts,
It is, because they violate his laws.
"Advice To The Sick" by Rees Prichard
No blood it sheds, yet many a wound
Inflicts,—gives wealth, yet takes from none;
Has vanquished e'en the earth's wide round,
And makes life's current smoothly run.
"Parables And Riddles" by Friedrich von Schiller
Christ's holy seal upon his brow,
Christ's sign upon his breast,
He 'scaped from all the cares and woes
That earth inflicts or manhood knows,
And enter'd with the blest.
"Henry Howard Comstock," by Lydia Howard Huntley Sigourney
Again what I felt, when in languishing posture
You heard from another the tale that he loved,
'Twas a pang so sublim'd, of such exquisite torture,
As tyrants inflict not, nor victims have prov'd.
"The Reply" by Charlotte Dacre
Pygmalion! Take me from my pedestal,
And set me lower—lower, Love!—that I
May be a woman, and look up to thee;
And looking, longing, loving, give and take
The human kisses worth the worst that thou
By thine own nature shalt inflict on me.
"Galatea" by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward

In news:

Boy Dies From Self-Inflicted Gun Shot at Oklahoma Junior High School .
Natural catastrophes inflict the most harm on poorer countries.
Race relations have been riled twice this week in a Louisiana town where police say a woman fabricated a violent KKK attack in which she "self-inflicted" burns on 60 percent of her body.
The snow will melt and the icy grip of winter will fade, but not without inflicting serious damage to our roads.
We saw this after the self-inflicted mortal wound of US Senate candidate Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin of Missouri.
While this may be difficult for animal lovers to stomach I think it's necessary to bring awareness to the violence that animals can inflict on each other.
Both of these scales approximate the wind speeds and measure the amount of damage inflicted.
Ortega was arraigned Wednesday at a hospital where she has been treated for self-inflicted stab wounds.
Napoli was on trial for match-fixing Monday and could be inflicted with a two-point penalty after its former goalkeeper confessed to arranging the result of a game three seasons ago.
Superstorm Sandy inflicted severe damage on office building s in lower Manhattan, forcing some professionals in the Lower Hudson Valley to work from a home office, a flex office or no office at all over the past two weeks.
Syria's two-day Internet blackout was "a mental war" inflicted by the government, an opposition activist said Sunday as service to the country was largely restored.
Anything to avoid the pain inflicted by my mother.
Vote on Palestine status inflicts new divides in Europe, NATO.
A Peoria man has died after a self inflicted gun shot wound to the head.
Prosecutors say she inflicted pain on the cats to make money.