Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of plight
Meaning of plight by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • enPR: plīt, IPA: /plaɪt/, X-SAMPA: /plaIt/
    • Rhymes: -aɪt

    Etymology 1

    From Middle English plight ( “risk, danger” ), from Old English pliht ( “peril, risk, danger, damage, plight” ), from Proto-Germanic *plihtiz ( “care, responsibility, duty” ). A suffixed form of the root found in pleoh ( “risk, danger, hurt, peril"; also "responsibility” ), plēon ( “to endanger, risk” ). Akin to Old English plihtan ( “to endanger, compromise” ). Cognate with Dutch plicht, Low German plicht ( “duty” ), German Pflicht ( “duty” ). More at pledge .


    plight ( plural: plights )

    1. ( now chiefly dialectal ) Responsibility for ensuing consequences; risk; danger; peril .
    2. ( now chiefly dialectal ) An instance of danger or peril; a dangerous moment or situation .
    3. ( archaic ) That which is exposed to risk; that which is plighted or pledged; security; a gage; a pledge .
    Derived terms


    plight ( third-person singular simple present plights present participle plighting, simple past and past participle plighted )

    1. ( transitive, now rare ) To expose to risk; to pledge .
    2. ( transitive ) Specifically, to pledge ( one's troth etc. ) as part of a marriage ceremony .
    3. ( reflexive ) To promise ( oneself ) to someone, or to do something.
    Derived terms

    Etymology 2

    Middle English plit ( “fold, wrinkle, bad situation” ), conflation of Middle English pliht, plight ( “risky promise, peril” ) ( from Old English pliht "danger, risk" ) and Anglo-Norman plit, plyte ( “fold, condition” ), from Old French pleit ( “condition, manner of folding” ) ( from Vulgar Latin *plictum, from Latin plicitum ( “fold” ) ) .


    plight ( plural: plights )

    1. A dire or unfortunate situation. [from 14th c.]
    2. ( now rare ) A ( neutral ) condition or state. [from 14th c.]

    Etymology 3

    Through Old French from Latin plectare. German flechten ( “to plait” ) and Danish flette are probably unrelated .


    plight ( plural: plights )

    1. ( obsolete ) A network; a plait; a fold; rarely a garment .

Explanation of plight by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. promise solemnly and formally

    2. give to in marriage

    1. a solemn pledge of fidelity

    2. a situation from which extrication is difficult especially an unpleasant or trying one

    3. the woeful plight of homeless people

    Definition of plight by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Plight obs. imp. & p. p. of Plight, to pledge. Chaucer.

    2. Plight, obs. imp. & p. p. of Pluck. Chaucer.

    3. Plight, v. t. [OE. pliten; probably through Old French, fr. LL. plectare, L. plectere. See Plait, Ply.] To weave; to braid; to fold; to plait.[Obs.] “To sew and plight.”
    4. Plight n. A network; a plait; a fold; rarely a garment. [Obs.] “Many a folded plight.” Spenser.

    5. Plight, n. [OE. pliht danger, engagement, AS. pliht danger, fr. pleón to risk; akin to D. plicht duty, G. pflicht, Dan. pligt. √28. Cf. Play.]
      1. That which is exposed to risk; that which is plighted or pledged; security; a gage; a pledge. “That lord whose hand must take my plight.” Shak.

      2. [Perh. the same word as plight a pledge, but at least influenced by OF. plite, pliste, ploit, ploi, a condition, state; cf. E. plight to fold, and F. pli a fold, habit, plier to fold, E. ply.] Condition; state; -- risk, or exposure to danger, often being implied; as, “a luckless plight”. “Your plight is pitied.” Shak.

      To bring our craft all in another plight Chaucer.

    6. Plight, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Plighted; p. pr. & vb. n. Plighting.] [AS. plihtan to expose to danger, pliht danger;cf. D. verplichten to oblige, engage, impose a duty, G. verpflichten, Sw. förplikta, Dan. forpligte. See Plight, n.]
      1. To pledge; to give as a pledge for the performance of some act; as, to plight faith, honor, word; -- never applied to property or goods. “ To do them plighte their troth.” Piers Plowman.

      He plighted his right hand

      Unto another love, and to another land. Spenser.

      Here my inviolable faith I plight. Dryden.

      2. To promise; to engage; to betroth.

      Before its setting hour, divide

      The bridegroom from the plighted bride. Sir W. Scott.