Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of numerous plant diseases resulting in sudden conspicuous wilting and dying of affected parts, especially young, growing tissues.
  • n. The condition or causative agent, such as a bacterium, fungus, or virus, that results in blight.
  • n. An extremely adverse environmental condition, such as air pollution.
  • n. Something that impairs growth, withers hopes and ambitions, or impedes progress and prosperity.
  • transitive v. To cause (a plant, for example) to undergo blight.
  • transitive v. To have a deleterious effect on; ruin. See Synonyms at blast.
  • intransitive v. To suffer blight.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. any of many plant diseases causing damage to, or the death of, leaves, fruit or other parts
  • n. the bacterium, virus or fungus that causes such a condition
  • n. anything that impedes growth or development or spoils any other aspect of life
  • v. to suffer blight
  • v. to cause to suffer blight
  • v. to spoil or ruin (something)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Mildew; decay; anything nipping or blasting; -- applied as a general name to various injuries or diseases of plants, causing the whole or a part to wither, whether occasioned by insects, fungi, or atmospheric influences.
  • n. The act of blighting, or the state of being blighted; a withering or mildewing, or a stoppage of growth in the whole or a part of a plant, etc.
  • n. That which frustrates one's plans or withers one's hopes; that which impairs or destroys.
  • n. A downy species of aphis, or plant louse, destructive to fruit trees, infesting both the roots and branches; -- also applied to several other injurious insects.
  • n. A rashlike eruption on the human skin.
  • intransitive v. To be affected by blight; to blast.
  • transitive v. To affect with blight; to blast; to prevent the growth and fertility of.
  • transitive v. Hence: To destroy the happiness of; to ruin; to mar essentially; to frustrate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To affect with blight; cause to wither or decay; nip, blast, or destroy.
  • To exert a malignant or baleful influence on; blast or mar the beauty, hopes, or prospects of; frustrate.
  • n. Some influence, usually hidden or not conspicuous, that nips, blasts, or destroys plants; a diseased state of plants caused by the condition of the soil, atmospheric influences, insects, parasitic plants, etc.; smut, mildew, or the like.
  • n. Figuratively, any malignant or mysterious influence that nips, blasts, destroys, or brings to naught; anything which withers hope, blasts one's prospects, or checks prosperity.
  • n. . In medicine: A slight facial paralysis induced by sudden cold or damp.
  • n. See blights.
  • n. Purulent conjunctivitis.
  • n. An insect, usually inconspicuous or hidden, which causes trees or plants to become diseased or to die, as the American blight.
  • n. Same as mosquito blight. See also tea-bug.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any plant disease resulting in withering without rotting
  • n. a state or condition being blighted
  • v. cause to suffer a blight

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old Norse blikna ("to grow pallid"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "Something there is in beauty
    which grows in the soul of the beholder
    like a flower:
    fragile---
    for many are the blights
    which may waste
    the beauty
    for the beholder--
    and imperishable--
    for the beauty may die,
    or the world may die,
    but the soul in which the flower grows
    survives."

    Lord Foul's Bane

    July 29, 2012

  • With such blight wrought upon our bankrupt estate,
    What ceremony of words can patch the havoc?

    from "Conversation Among the Ruins," Sylvia Plath

    March 26, 2008