from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. That causes physical or mental pain

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Giving pain; causing continued or repeated pain or grief; distressing.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Characterized by or causing mental or physical pain; painful; distressing; of the nature of an affliction: as, an afflictive dispensation of Providence.
  • Synonyms Afflicting, grievous, calamitous, disastrous, oppressive, severe, unhappy, trying.

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

  • adj. causing misery or pain or distress


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Another point from the Buddhist perspective is what we call afflictive emotion or defilements of the mind.

    Awakening Kindness

  • People find themselves forced to "afflictive" methods which stand in no relation with the realities of life.

    The Education of the Child

  • Occasionally, this process of digesting and releasing is accompanied by "spiritual and mystical experience," and more often the process includes a letting go of old afflictive emotions, as the realization of deep insights and our innate healing energies arise from within.

    Dr. Isaac Eliaz: What Are You Feeling?: The Journey to Self Awareness

  • Intentionally looking for gratitude is a strategy to counter afflictive thoughts and emotions, and deepen the feelings that strengthen us.

    Michael Stanclift, N.D.: holiday mindfulness

  • We all have the capacity to achieve complete perfect enlightenment; it requires clearing away the two obstructions, afflictive and cognitive, and the way to do this is by countering all wrong conceptions.

    The Third Dalai Lama's Refined Gold & Shantideva's Guide

  • The one method that eliminates the afflictive defilements (rooted in ignorant grasping) and their respective karma is non-dual meditative concentration on the sole antidote, the wisdom of emptiness.

    Principle Path to Enlightenment

  • Turning to Kamalashila's text which sets out the prerequisites for calm abiding and special insight meditation on conventional Bodhicitta and the wisdom of Emptiness, His Holiness discusses the mental states that arise spontaneously (afflictive emotions which disturb the mind) to dominate our physical and verbal actions.

    Nagarjuna's Bodhichitta Commentary

  • The Chinese prayer has been translated: May the three types of afflictive emotions be dispelled.

    Principle Path to Enlightenment

  • He says their presentation of emptiness does not fulfil its purpose, which is to eliminate the afflictive emotions.

    Shantideva's Wisdom Chapter

  • Arhats realize the wisdoms of ultimate and conventional truth to eliminate their afflictive obscurations, but they do not complete the collections of merit required to eliminate the cognitive obscurations to the full enlightenment sought by

    Principle Path to Enlightenment


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  • But the idea most afflictive to my mind, what drove me to despair, and laid fiend-like hold upon my fancy, was the unquestioned plunder of my effects.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 9 ch. 5

    October 7, 2008