• WordNet 3.6
    • v afflict cause physical pain or suffering in "afflict with the plague"
    • v afflict cause great unhappiness for; distress "she was afflicted by the death of her parents"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Mouth ulcers are the most common human affliction.
    • p. p. & a Afflict Afflicted.
    • Afflict To inflict some great injury or hurt upon, causing continued pain or mental distress; to trouble grievously; to torment. "They did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens.""That which was the worst now least afflicts me."
    • Afflict To make low or humble. "Men are apt to prefer a prosperous error before an afflicted truth."
    • Afflict To strike or cast down; to overthrow. "Reassembling our afflicted powers."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • afflict To strike down; prostrate; overthrow; rout.
    • afflict To distress with mental or bodily pain; trouble greatly or grievously; harass or torment: as, to be afflicted with the gout, or by persecution.
    • afflict Synonyms Afflict, Distress, Trouble, Harass, Torment; try, pain, hurt, plague, persecute. Of these words, afflict implies the most spiritual effect, the greatest depth and continuance of sorrow. To distress is a more outward act, bringing one into straitness of circumstances or feeling, so that there is more anxiety for the future, while perhaps the afflicted person knows the full measure of his loss and is wholly occupied with the past. To trouble is a lighter act, involving perhaps confusion or uncertainty of mind, and especially embarrassment. Harass, as applied to mind or body, suggests the infliction of the weariness that comes from the continuance or repetition of trying experiences, so that there is not time for rest. Torment implies the infliction of acute pain, physical or mental, and is frequently used in the sense of harassing by frequent return. The use of afflicted otherwise than of persons severally or collectively is highly figurative or poetic: as, my afflicted fortunes; the other words have freer figurative use. See affliction.
    • afflict Afflicted; distressed.
    • n afflict Conflict; struggle.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Afflict af-flikt′ to give continued pain, distress, or grief: to harass, or vex
    • ***


  • Henry Ward Beecher
    “Affliction comes to us, not to make us sad but sober; not to make us sorry but wise.”
  • Rosalind Russell
    Rosalind Russell
    “When something an affliction happens to you, you either let it defeat you, or you defeat it.”
  • H.G. Wells
    “Humanity either makes, or breeds, or tolerates all its afflictions.”
  • Christian Nevell Bovee
    “Affliction, like the iron-smith, shapes as it smites.”
  • Sir Richard Burton
    Sir Richard Burton
    “As threshing separates the wheat from the chaff, so does affliction purify virtue.”
  • Benjamin Franklin
    “To bear other people's afflictions, everyone has courage and enough to spare.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. afflictus, p. p. of affigere, to cast down, deject; ad, + fligere, to strike: cf. OF. aflit, afflict, p. p. Cf. Flagellate
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. affligĕre, flictumad, to, fligĕre, to dash to the ground.


In literature:

I am sorry for you, for Jehovah has afflicted me.
"The Children's Bible" by Henry A. Sherman
The face, being the most sensitive, is usually the first part of the body to be afflicted.
"The Woman Beautiful" by Helen Follett Stevans
No man hath affliction enough that is not matured and ripened by it, and made fit for God by that affliction.
"Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions" by John Donne
The people of this mighty city were pressed by the heaviest of afflictions.
"The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. 1 (2 vols)" by Thomas De Quincey
I put it to her that some such affliction must be responsible for her despair.
"The King's Mirror" by Anthony Hope
Spare me so great an affliction.
"The Basket of Flowers" by Christoph von Schmid
The women are afflicted by hysteria before puberty.
"Folkways" by William Graham Sumner
In the domestic sphere, amid scenes of sickness and affliction, how often have they proved ministering angels.
"The Young Maiden" by A. B. (Artemas Bowers) Muzzey
Moreover, he was afflicted with the gout, which indisposed him for complicated enterprises.
"A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon" by John Lord
In all his letters he seeks to give me fortitude, but I know that this severe affliction has been keenly felt by him.
"Hortense, Makers of History Series" by John S. C. Abbott

In poetry:

These light afflictions are but temporal
things —
To rise above them, wilt Thou lend me
"In Convalescence" by Fay Inchfawn
O what a damp and shade
Doth me invade!
No stormie night
Can so afflict or so affright
As thy eclipsed light.
"A Parodie" by George Herbert
Afflictions do not come alone,
A voice attends the rod;
By both he to his saints is known,
A Father and a God!
"Love-Tokens" by John Newton
We chatter with a swallow's voice,
Or like a dove we mourn,
With bitterness instead of joys,
Afflicted and forlorn.
"Hymn 55" by Isaac Watts
Yet I have found 'tis good for me
To bear my Father's rod;
Afflictions make me learn thy law,
And live upon my God.
"Psalm 119 part 14" by Isaac Watts
Eye unconscious of a tear,
When affliction's train appear:
Heart that never heaved a sigh
For another, come not nigh.
"Inscription In A Beautiful Retreat Called Fairy Bower" by Hannah More

In news:

The Malaise Afflicting America's Malls.
There is nothing metaphorical in such affliction, and nothing mythical in the construct of psychiatric disease.
Asthma afflicts a disproportionate number of minority children in urban areas.
And in this passage, God warned the false prophets whose intent was to mislead and scatter the people, that they would experience woe, or affliction and anguish.
Venezuela's state-run refineries afflicted by mismanagement .
Someone has already murdered three young women with afflictions such as being crippled, scarred or simple minded and there is a young companion who is mute caring for a bedridden woman in town.
In other words, some obsessions and compulsions are more likely to afflict a given sex precisely because these map onto sex-specific concerns of evolutionary import.
Following developments in the newspaper industry is like paying daily visits to a terminally ill friend in a hospital, watching him die in 24-hour increments while hoping someone will hit upon a cure for what afflicts him.
Foot in mouth disease afflicts Romney, again.
See actual examples of these oral diseases and some that can mimic the afflictions so you know what to look for at home.
Osteoarthritis (aw-stee-oh-are-THRYE-tis), a degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis, afflicting some 20 million Americans.
Osteoporosis is a weakening bone condition that afflicts 52 million men and women over 50, often leading to hip fractures.
Last week 38 United States senators demonstrated the political disability afflicting Congress when they voted down an international treaty to help create better standards of living for disabled people worldwide.
(Op-Ed, Nov 4) is a testament to the collective myopia that afflicts the Israeli leadership.
The United States Supreme Court now sees its central task as comforting the already comfortable and afflicting those already afflicted.