- The definition of a plague is a widespread disease that is deadly.
An example of plague is the yellow feaver outbreak in New Orleans in 1852.
- anything that afflicts or troubles; calamity; scourge
- any contagious epidemic disease that is deadly; esp., bubonic plague
- Informal a nuisance; annoyance
- Bible any of various calamities sent down as divine punishment: Ex. 9:14, Num. 16:46
Origin of plagueMiddle English plage ; from Middle French ; from Classical Latin plaga, a blow, misfortune, in Ecclesiastical Late Latin plague ; from Classical Greek plēgē, plaga ; from Indo-European an unverified form plaga, a blow ; from base an unverified form plag-, to strike from source flaw
- a. A highly infectious, usually fatal, epidemic disease; a pestilence.b. A virulent, infectious disease that is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis (syn. Pasteurella pestis) and is transmitted primarily by the bite of fleas from an infected rodent, especially a rat. In humans it occurs in bubonic form, marked by lymph node enlargement, and in pneumonic form, marked by infection of the lungs, and can progress to septicemia.
- a. A widespread affliction or calamity seen as divine retribution.b. An influx or large number of destructive or unwanted things, especially animals: “The vines flourished, the only problem being a plague of jackrabbits” (Paul Lukacs).c. Something that causes persistent hardship, trouble, or annoyance: “The plague of every funnyman's success is that deep down, almost everyone thinks they know forty guys funnier” (Ross Vachon).
transitive verbplagued plagued, plagu·ing, plagues
- To pester or annoy persistently or incessantly. See Synonyms at harass.
- a. To cause suffering or hardship for: “Runaway inflation further plagued the wage- or salary-earner” (Edwin O. Reischauer).b. To be a widespread or continuous problem or defect in: Confusing jargon plagues the entire subject.
Origin of plagueMiddle English plage, blow, calamity, plague, from Late Latin plāga, from Latin, blow, wound; see plāk-2 in Indo-European roots. V., Middle English plaghen, from Middle Dutch, from plaghe, plague, from Late Latin plāga.
- (often used with the, sometimes capitalized: the Plague) The bubonic plague, the pestilent disease caused by the virulent bacterium Yersinia pestis.
- (pathology) An epidemic or pandemic caused by any pestilence, but specifically by the above disease.
- A widespread affliction, calamity or destructive influx, especially when seen as divine retribution.
- Ten Biblical plagues over Egypt, ranging from locusts to the death of the crown prince, finally forced Pharaoh to let Moses's people go.
- A grave nuisance, whatever greatly irritates
- Bart is an utter plague; his pranks never cease.
(third-person singular simple present plagues, present participle plaguing, simple past and past participle plagued)
From Middle English plage, from Old French plage, from Late Latin plāga (“blow, wound”), from plangō (“to strike”). Cognate with Middle Dutch plāghe (> Dutch plaag), plāghen (> Dutch plagen), Middle Low German plāge, pflāge, vlāge, Middle High German plāge (> German Plage), plāgen (> German plagen), Swedish plåga, French plaie.