affliction


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Affliction \Af*flic"tion\, n. [F. affliction, L. afflictio, fr.
   affligere.]
   1. The cause of continued pain of body or mind, as sickness,
      losses, etc.; an instance of grievous distress; a pain or
      grief.
      [1913 Webster]

            To repay that money will be a biting affliction.
                                                  --Shak.
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   2. The state of being afflicted; a state of pain, distress,
      or grief.
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            Some virtues are seen only in affliction. --Addison.
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   Syn: Calamity; sorrow; distress; grief; pain; adversity;
        misery; wretchedness; misfortune; trouble; hardship.

   Usage: Affliction, Sorrow, Grief, Distress.
          Affliction and sorrow are terms of wide and general
          application; grief and distress have reference to
          particular cases. Affliction is the stronger term. The
          suffering lies deeper in the soul, and usually arises
          from some powerful cause, such as the loss of what is
          most dear -- friends, health, etc. We do not speak of
          mere sickness or pain as "an affliction," though one
          who suffers from either is said to be afflicted; but
          deprivations of every kind, such as deafness,
          blindness, loss of limbs, etc., are called
          afflictions, showing that term applies particularly to
          prolonged sources of suffering. Sorrow and grief are
          much alike in meaning, but grief is the stronger term
          of the two, usually denoting poignant mental suffering
          for some definite cause, as, grief for the death of a
          dear friend; sorrow is more reflective, and is tinged
          with regret, as, the misconduct of a child is looked
          upon with sorrow. Grief is often violent and
          demonstrative; sorrow deep and brooding. Distress
          implies extreme suffering, either bodily or mental. In
          its higher stages, it denotes pain of a restless,
          agitating kind, and almost always supposes some
          struggle of mind or body. Affliction is allayed, grief
          subsides, sorrow is soothed, distress is mitigated.
          [1913 Webster]
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