verb (used with object)

  1. to impose as something that must be borne or suffered: to inflict punishment.
  2. to impose (anything unwelcome): The regime inflicted burdensome taxes on the people.
  3. to deal or deliver, as a blow.

verb (tr)

  1. (often foll by on or upon) to impose (something unwelcome, such as pain, oneself, etc)
  2. rare to cause to suffer; afflict (with)
  3. to deal out (blows, lashes, etc)

v.1560s, from Latin inflictus, past participle of infligere “to strike or dash against,” from in- “on, against” (see in- (2)) + fligere (past participle flictus) “to dash, strike” (see afflict). You inflict trouble on someone; you afflict someone with trouble. Shame on you.

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