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Thursday, December 3, 2020

"Inflict" Versus "Afflict"

     To afflict is to cause distress to someone: "The villagers were afflicted with the plague.

      To inflict is to impose something unpleasant (such as defeat, punishment, or pain) on someone: We believed that the punishment inflicted on the criminal was appropriate.

     Note that, generally speaking, a person is afflicted with something, but a thing is inflicted on someone.

Rod L. Evans, The Artful Nuance: A Refined Guide To Imperfectly Understood Words in the English Language, 2009

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