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  • Noun




The affliction of the soldier’s old wound from the war painfully sharpened on stormy days. Not only did the affliction or physical hurt cause him much pain, but he was also tormented by the memories of personal loss that the ache recalled. Such affliction or distress was best lessened by the presence of his supportive family.

Quiz: What is an affliction?

  • A physical or mental condition that causes you distress.
  • A short period when you’re happier than you’ve ever been before.
  • A date of something that is important for you to remember.

Memory Hook

Flicked Fly Smashed A flicked fly was afflicted by inconsiderate Ed, who then smashed it.


  • Man has to suffer. When he has no real afflictions, he invents some. — José Martí, Cuban poet and essayist José martí, cuban poet and essayist
  • Whereas only perhaps 5 percent of Brits of Anglo origin exhibit symptoms of [lactose] intolerance, that affliction, though hard to measure precisely, affects roughly nine-tenths of the East Asian population. —The Economist
  • The hours are long, the work exhausting. At least two of them have suffered “the bends,” a painful, disorienting and sometimes lethal affliction that threatens [divers] who stay down too long or surface too quickly. —The Los Angeles Times
  • Monetary folly is the latest affliction visited on North Korea’s people by the world’s worst government. —The Economist

Word Ingredients

af- to, towards
flict struck, struck down
-ion act, state, or result of doing something

If one suffers from an affliction, one is “struck down or struck” by physical or emotional pain.

Word Theater

The Elephant Man His afflictions are observed by a group of astounded doctors.

Word Constellation


Word Variants

afflict v to agonize or torment