Affliction – Definition & Meaning

Affliction is a word that is often used to describe a state of suffering or distress. It is a term that can be applied to both physical and emotional pain, and it is often used in a religious or spiritual context. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of affliction, its origin, and its associations.


The Oxford English Dictionary defines affliction as “the state of being afflicted; a state of pain, distress, or misery.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “something that causes pain or suffering.” In general, affliction can refer to any kind of suffering, whether it is physical or emotional.


The word affliction comes from the Latin word “afflictio,” which means “a striking down.” This word is derived from the verb “affligere,” which means “to strike or beat down.” The word has been in use in English since the 14th century.

Meaning in different dictionaries

Different dictionaries may have slightly different definitions of affliction, but they all generally agree that it refers to a state of suffering or distress. For example, the Cambridge Dictionary defines affliction as “something that causes pain or suffering, or the state of being in pain or suffering.”


Affliction is often associated with religious or spiritual concepts, such as sin, punishment, and redemption. In many religious traditions, affliction is seen as a test of faith, and those who endure it are often seen as being rewarded in the afterlife.


Some synonyms of affliction include suffering, pain, misery, distress, and hardship. These words all describe a state of discomfort or unhappiness.


Antonyms of affliction include comfort, happiness, joy, and pleasure. These words describe a state of well-being and contentment.

The same root words

The word affliction shares the same root as other words in the English language, such as afflict, afflictive, and afflicting. These words all have a similar meaning, and they all refer to causing or experiencing pain or suffering.

Example Sentences

  • The affliction of poverty affects millions of people around the world.
  • She endured years of affliction before finally finding a cure for her illness.
  • The loss of a loved one can be a great affliction for many people.
  • He prayed to be delivered from his affliction.
  • The afflictive heat made it difficult to concentrate.
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