• enPR: plāg, IPA: /pleɪɡ/, [pʰl̥eɪɡ]


  1. (often used with the, sometimes capitalized: the Plague) The bubonic plague, the pestilent disease caused by the virulent bacterium Yersinia pestis.
  2. (pathology) An epidemic or pandemic caused by any pestilence, but specifically by the above disease.
  3. 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.
    • c. 1591–1595, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Romeo and Ivliet”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene i], page 64 ↗:
      A plague a both the Houses, I am sped: Is he gone and hath nothing?
  4. (figurative) A grave nuisance, whatever greatly irritates.
    Bart is an utter plague; his pranks never cease.
  5. Collective noun for common grackles ↗
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plague (plagues, present participle plaguing; past and past participle plagued)

  1. (transitive) To harass, pester or annoy someone persistently or incessantly.
  2. (transitive) To afflict with a disease or other calamity.
    Natural catastrophes plagued the colonists till they abandoned the pestilent marshland.
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