English dictionary

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English noun: plague

1. plague (state) a serious (sometimes fatal) infection of rodents caused by Yersinia pestis and accidentally transmitted to humans by the bite of a flea that has bitten an infected animal

Synonymspest, pestilence, pestis

Broader (hypernym)epidemic disease

Narrower (hyponym)bubonic plague, glandular plague, pestis bubonica, plague pneumonia, pneumonic plague, pulmonic plague, septicemic plague

2. plague (state) any epidemic disease with a high death rate

Synonymspest, pestilence

Broader (hypernym)epidemic disease

3. plague (group) a swarm of insects that attack plants

SamplesA plague of grasshoppers.


Broader (hypernym)cloud, swarm

4. plague (event) any large scale calamity (especially when thought to be sent by God)

Broader (hypernym)calamity, cataclysm, catastrophe, disaster, tragedy

5. plague (cognition) an annoyance

SamplesThose children are a damn plague.

Broader (hypernym)annoyance, bother, botheration, infliction, pain, pain in the ass, pain in the neck

Domain usagecolloquialism

English verb: plague

1. plague (weather) cause to suffer a blight

SamplesToo much rain may blight the garden with mold.


Pattern of useSomething ----s somebody.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)afflict, smite

2. plague (emotion) annoy continually or chronically

SamplesHe is known to harry his staff when he is overworked.
This man harasses his female co-workers.

ExamplesSam cannot plague Sue

Synonymsbeset, chevvy, chevy, chivvy, chivy, harass, harry, hassle, molest, provoke

Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody.
Something ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)annoy, bother, chafe, devil, get at, get to, gravel, irritate, nark, nettle, rag, rile, vex

Narrower (hyponym)bedevil, crucify, dun, frustrate, goad, haze, needle, rag, torment

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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