from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of numerous plant diseases resulting in sudden conspicuous wilting and dying of affected parts, especially young, growing tissues.
  • noun The condition or causative agent, such as a bacterium, fungus, or virus, that results in blight.
  • noun An agent or action that harms or ruins the value or success of something.
  • noun A condition or result of harmful or ruinous action.
  • intransitive verb To cause (a plant, for example) to undergo blight.
  • intransitive verb To have a deleterious effect on; ruin. synonym: blast.
  • intransitive verb To suffer blight.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun . In medicine: A slight facial paralysis induced by sudden cold or damp.
  • noun See blights.
  • 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.
  • noun Purulent conjunctivitis.
  • noun An insect, usually inconspicuous or hidden, which causes trees or plants to become diseased or to die, as the American blight.
  • noun Same as mosquito blight. See also tea-bug.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun That which frustrates one's plans or withers one's hopes; that which impairs or destroys.
  • noun (Zoöl.) 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.
  • noun United States A rashlike eruption on the human skin.
  • intransitive verb To be affected by blight; to blast.
  • transitive verb To affect with blight; to blast; to prevent the growth and fertility of.
  • transitive verb Hence: To destroy the happiness of; to ruin; to mar essentially; to frustrate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • noun any plant disease resulting in withering without rotting
  • noun a state or condition being blighted
  • verb cause to suffer a blight


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

[Origin unknown.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old Norse blikna ("to grow pallid").


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  • 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

  • "Something there is in beauty

    which grows in the soul of the beholder

    like a flower:


    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


    Lord Foul's Bane

    July 29, 2012