—n. 1. an epidemic disease that causes high mortality; pestilence.
2. an infectious, epidemic disease caused by a bacterium, Yersinia pestis, characterized by fever, chills, and prostration, transmitted to humans from rats by means of the bites of fleas. Cf. bubonic plague, pneumonic plague, septicemic plague. 3. any widespread affliction, calamity, or evil, esp. one regarded as a direct punishment by God: a plague of war and desolation. 4. any cause of trouble, annoyance, or vexation: Uninvited guests are a plague.
—v.t. 1. to trouble, annoy, or torment in any manner: The question of his future plagues him with doubt. 2. to annoy, bother, or pester: Ants plagued the picnickers. 3. to smite with a plague, pestilence, death, etc.; scourge: those whom the gods had plagued. 4. to infect with a plague; cause an epidemic in or among: diseases that still plague the natives of Ethiopia. 5. to afflict with any evil: He was plagued by allergies all his life.
(French, La Peste), a novel (1947) by Albert Camus.