- 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 plÄga (â€œblow, woundâ€), from plangÅ (â€œto strikeâ€). 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.