Definitions

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

  • transitive verb To cause (something injurious or harmful), as to a person, group, or area.
  • transitive verb To force to undergo or experience (something unwanted).
  • transitive verb To deal or deliver (a blow, for example).

from The Century Dictionary.

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

  • transitive verb 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To thrust upon; to impose.

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

  • verb impose something unpleasant

Etymologies

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

[Latin īnflīgere, īnflīct- : in-, on; see in– + flīgere, to strike.]

Examples

  • The justification that journalists can offer for the harm they inevitably inflict is to show, through their actions, their understanding that what they do matters and that it should be done with care.

    Media

  • The justification that journalists can offer for the harm they inevitably inflict is to show, through their actions, their understanding that what they do matters and that it should be done with care.

    Media

  • People need to realize that there are some critics out there who are willing in inflict real-world harm on anyone suspected of being part of ˜The Wedge. '

    Bradley and Beckwith on Baylor

  • There was always the risk that displaying these pictures might again inflict pain and fear on some viewers.

    "Return to Sender" Confronting Lynching and Our Haunted Landscapes

  • The justification that journalists can offer for the harm they inevitably inflict is to show, through their actions, their understanding that what they do matters and that it should be done with care.

    Why Americans Hate the Media

  • The justification that journalists can offer for the harm they inevitably inflict is to show, through their actions, their understanding that what they do matters and that it should be done with care.

    Why Americans Hate the Media

  • The offense they inflict is a function of how the speaker intends them and how the listener interprets them, with intent and interpretation trapped in subtle feedback loop: Speaker intent is partly determined by the speaker’s belief about how the listener will react, interpretation turns on deciphering what was intended, and so on.

    Someone Warn Chris Rock

  • But at Camp X-Ray, especially before ICRC (or International Committee of the Red Cross) arrived, I heard many times the IRF team being told (and telling each other before they went to get a detainee) that it was their time to "get some," which is to say inflict pain, get revenge.

    "Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday the Guantanamo detention center is a well-run, professional facility that will be difficult to close..."

  • Now, they've got to get us to respond in such fashion that the damage that they can inflict, which is necessarily confined to a specific locale, is spread across the whole country.

    CNN Transcript Jan 4, 2004

  • Nor will any one of the rulers in the Churches, however highly gifted he may be in point of eloquence, teach doctrines different from these (for no one is greater than the Master); nor, on the other hand, will he who is deficient in power of expression inflict injury on the tradition.

    ANF01. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus

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