Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To deal or mete out (something punishing or burdensome); impose: inflicted heavy losses on the enemy; a storm that inflicted widespread damage.
  • transitive v. To afflict.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To thrust upon; to impose.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To give, cause, or produce by striking, or as if by striking; to apply forcibly; to lay or impose; to send; to cause to bear, feel, or suffer

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To lay on or impose as something that must be borne or suffered; cause to be suffered: as, to inflict punishment on offenders; to inflict a penalty on transgressors.

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

  • v. impose something unpleasant

Etymologies

Latin īnflīgere, īnflīct- : in-, on; see in-2 + flīgere, to strike.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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