Mass burial during the plague in London.
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 LL(Ec), plague from Classical Greek pl?g?, plaga from Indo-European an unverified form plaga, a blow from base an unverified form plag-, to strike from source flaw
transitive verbplagued, plagu′ing
- to afflict with a plague
- to vex; harass; trouble; torment
- 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, 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 plÄga (“blow, wound"), from plangÅ (“to strike"). Cognate with Middle Dutch plÄghe (> Dutch plaag), plÄghen (> Dutch plagen), Middle Low German plÄge, pflÄge, vlÄge, Middle High German plÄge (> German Plage), plÄgen (> German plagen), Swedish plÃ¥ga, French plaie.