verb (used with object)
- to distress with mental or bodily pain; trouble greatly or grievously: to be afflicted with arthritis.
- to overthrow; defeat.
- to humble.
- deeply distressing; painful
- (tr) to cause suffering or unhappiness to; distress greatly
late 14c., “to cast down,” from Old French aflicter, from Latin afflictare “to damage, harass, torment,” frequentative of affligere (past participle afflictus) “to dash down, overthrow,” from ad- “to” (see ad-) + fligere (past participle flictus) “to strike,” from PIE root *bhlig- “to strike” (cf. Greek phlibein “to press, crush,” Czech blizna “scar,” Welsh blif “catapult”). Transferred meaning of “trouble, distress,” is first recorded 1530s. Related: Afflicted; afflicting.