- The definition of afflict is to cause great physical or mental pain or agony or to create for someone a curse to bear.
An example of something that can afflict a person is cancer.
- to cause pain or suffering to; distress very much
- Obsolete to overthrow
Origin of afflict; from Classical Latin afflictare, to injure, vex ; from afflictus, past participle of affligere, to strike down ; from ad-, to + fligere: see inflict
transitive verbaf·flict·ed, af·flict·ing, af·flicts
Origin of afflictMiddle English afflighten, from afflight, disturbed, frightened, from Latin afflīctum, past participle of afflīgere, to cast down : ad-, ad- + flīgere, to strike.
(third-person singular simple present afflicts, present participle afflicting, simple past and past participle afflicted)
From Old French aflicter, from Latin afflictare (“to damage, harass, torment”), frequentative of affligere (“to dash down, overthrow”).