Definition of afflict in English:


See synonyms for afflict

Translate afflict into Spanish

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1(of a problem or illness) cause pain or suffering to; affect or trouble.

    ‘his younger child was afflicted with a skin disease’
    • ‘serious ills afflict the industry’
    • ‘he comforted the afflicted’
    • ‘When we are afflicted with such illnesses, we expect to recover quickly and fully.’
    • ‘This will remove the problems afflicting society, particularly those affecting the working class majority.’
    • ‘Companies have made great advances in tackling health problems afflicting dancers, but those could be lost if proper practices are not maintained at all levels of the profession, he said.’
    • ‘They claim they are too easy a target for the game's governing bodies who ought to be looking elsewhere to help ease the financial problems afflicting the game at a lower level.’
    • ‘At least the Prime Minister has acknowledged one of the most pressing problems afflicting rural areas: the alarming demise of sub-post offices.’
    • ‘Over the coming weeks, we'll be highlighting how organic farming can provide solutions to the seemingly intractable problems afflicting our food chain.’
    • ‘Part of the reason was that the kings were able to insulate themselves from problems afflicting the rest of society.’
    • ‘The document identified several problems afflicting the new curriculum.’
    • ‘Of course, it does not mean he is not familiar with the issues and problems afflicting the two suburbs.’
    • ‘Similar problems afflict many other European universities.’
    • ‘A number of serious diseases afflict the population, including malaria, tuberculosis, and cholera.’
    • ‘The problem usually afflicts rural areas, where deep well drilling hits arsenic-rich aquifers.’
    • ‘This problem afflicts a quarter of all irrigated land and is most acute in Pakistan, where two million hectares have been lost to high soil salinity.’
    • ‘To be sure, the social and economic problems afflicting these nations are acute, but the current crisis is at root a political one, and progress will not come without serious reform.’
    • ‘All joking aside, the most important health problem afflicting our nation right now is obesity, according to the National Institute of Health.’
    • ‘The word from the World Health Organisation is that by the year 2020, depression will be the second most common health problem afflicting our population.’
    • ‘The decline of the world's fish stocks is, next to global warming, probably the greatest problem afflicting our environmental commons.’
    • ‘There are simply too many socioeconomic problems afflicting the educational setting for such a fast turnaround.’
    • ‘It found no cardiac benefit in those already somewhat afflicted by heart problems.’
    • ‘A vast array of social problems afflict a country so recently traumatized by war.’
    trouble, bother, burden, distress, cause trouble to, cause suffering to, beset, harass, worry, oppress, annoy, vex, irritate, exasperate, strain, stress, tax
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Astrology (of a celestial body) be in a stressful aspect with (another celestial body or a point on the ecliptic)
      ‘Jupiter is afflicted by Mars in opposition’
      • ‘But if that path is afflicted, the astrologer can suggest alternatives.’
      • ‘It is cadent from the Ascendant and afflicted by a square to Saturn.’
      • ‘Saturn, the Greater Malefic and ruler of the 8th house, is stronger than the victim's significator, the Moon, and afflicts the 11 th house of hopes and dreams.’
      • ‘Where afflicted or badly placed, Jupiter will produce negative traits through excess or weakness.’
      • ‘A planet in detriment or fall is in a precarious condition, more so if it is peregrine or otherwise afflicted.’



/əˈflik(t)/ /əˈflɪk(t)/


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘deject, humiliate’): from Latin afflictare ‘knock about, harass’, or from afflict- ‘knocked down, weakened’ both from the verb affligere, from ad- ‘to’ + fligere ‘to strike, dash’.