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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Plight

Plight \Plight\, n. A network; a plait; a fold; rarely a garment. [Obs.] ``Many a folded plight.''
--Spenser.

Plight

Plight \Plight\, n. [OE. pliht danger, engagement, AS. pliht danger, fr. ple['o]n to risk; akin to D. plicht duty, G. pflicht, Dan. pligt. [root]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.

Plight

Plight \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. f["o]rplikta, 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.

Plight

Plight \Plight\, obs. imp. & p. p. of Plight, to pledge.
--Chaucer.

Plight

Plight \Plight\, obs. imp. & p. p. of Pluck.
--Chaucer.

Plight

Plight \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.''
--Chaucer.

A plighted garment of divers colors.
--Milton.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

plight

noun
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ VERB
describe
▪ The more he describes the plight of public services, the more voters are reminded of the need for more public money.
ease
▪ There was little Sanson could do to ease the King's plight other than expedite the procedure.
▪ Or he could introduce an exchange rate policy to ease the plight of manufacturing companies.
highlight
▪ First introduced in 1989, Adopt-a-Pet aims to highlight the plight of abandoned animals and encourage more responsible pet ownership.
▪ Elderly people isolated A new report has highlighted the isolated plight of elderly people in residential care who have a hearing loss.
▪ There are better ways to highlight the plight of the homeless.
ignore
▪ Yet people ignore the plight of, say, the several species of bat which are on the edge of extinction.
▪ But he ignores the plight of pensioners.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ A new report exposes the plight of skilled nurses, who work long hours for very low rates of pay.
▪ His chief concern is the plight of kids growing up in the ghettoes.
▪ Roy was sympathetic to her plight and offered to help her look for her daughter.
▪ the plight of homeless children
▪ The film deals with the nomadic desert people of the Sahel, whose plight has worsened in the recent years of drought.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ Concern about the plight of young intellectuals was mixed with promises of improvements.
▪ He embraced their plight as best he could.
▪ Her husband simply dismissed her plight and carried on with his plan to go riding.
▪ It parks, waits and taunts our plight.
▪ The Republican contender said he never understood the plight of the handicapped before he was injured.
▪ There can be no real understanding of the plight of either rural or urban poor.
▪ Through their various plights, the drama questions a world where feminine ideals regularly defy rational explanation.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

plight

"to pledge" (obsolete except in archaic plight one's troth), from Old English pligtan, plihtan "to endanger, imperil, compromise," verb form of pliht (n.) "danger, risk" (see plight (n.2)). Related: Plighted; plighting.

plight

"condition or state (usually bad)," late 12c., "danger, harm, strife," from Anglo-French plit, pleit, Old French pleit, ploit "condition" (13c.), originally "way of folding," from Vulgar Latin *plictum, from Latin plicitum, neuter past participle of Latin plicare "to fold, lay" (see ply (v.1)).\n

\nOriginally in neutral sense (as in modern French en bon plit "in good condition"), sense of "harmful state" (and current spelling) probably is from convergence and confusion with plight (n.2) via notion of "entangling risk, pledge or promise with great risk to the pledger."

plight

"pledge," mid-13c., "pledge, promise," usually involving risk or loss in default, from Old English pliht "danger, risk, peril, damage," from Proto-Germanic *pleg- (cognates: Old Frisian plicht "danger, concern, care," Middle Dutch, Dutch plicht "obligation, duty," Old High German pfliht, German Pflicht "obligation, duty" (see plight (v.)). Compare Old English plihtere "look-out man at the prow of a ship," plihtlic "perilous, dangerous."

Wiktionary

plight

Etymology 1 n. A dire or unfortunate situation. (from 14th c.) Etymology 2

n. 1 (context now chiefly dialectal English) responsibility for ensuing consequences; risk; danger; peril. 2 (context now chiefly dialectal English) An instance of danger or peril; a dangerous moment or situation. 3 (context now chiefly dialectal English) blame; culpability; fault; wrong-doing; sin; crime. 4 (context now chiefly dialectal English) One's office; duty; charge. 5 (context archaic English) That which is exposed to risk; that which is plighted or pledged; security; a gage; a pledge. vb. 1 (context transitive now rare English) To expose to risk; to pledge. 2 (context transitive English) Specifically, to pledge (one's troth etc.) as part of a marriage ceremony. 3 (context reflexive English) To promise (oneself) to someone, or to do something. Etymology 3

n. (context obsolete English) A network; a plait; a fold; rarely a garment. vb. (context obsolete English) To weave; to braid; to fold; to plait.

WordNet

plight

  1. n. a situation from which extrication is difficult especially an unpleasant or trying one; "finds himself in a most awkward predicament"; "the woeful plight of homeless people" [syn: predicament, quandary]

  2. a solemn pledge of fidelity [syn: troth]

  3. v. give to in marriage [syn: betroth, engage, affiance]

  4. promise solemnly and formally; "I pledge that will honor my wife" [syn: pledge]

Usage examples of "plight".

It was useless to take them to task, to inform them that this behaviour instead of easing their plight only brought out the worst in their superiors and made them the butt of every perceived mistake aboard ship.

But the apocryphal fable is nonetheless eloquent testimony to the gathering suspicion and hatred directed at the court, which, along with officials in Paris, was held responsible for the plight of the common people.

If Davies were once to know his good name had been attacked, and that his explanation of his failure to reach his men or give notice of their plight had been aspersed, somebody might put him up to demanding a court of inquiry.

By nightfall the enemy were in a desperate plight, with a confused mass of vehicles almost twenty miles in length, blocked in front and attacked in flank.

Until the spirit of the new era reached the Rationing Board and moved them to reconsider the plight of such as Boa, it would not be possible to return her to the dismal wards of the First National Flightpaths annex.

He was a young man and a profligate, and had got into a house of illfame, from which he came out in sorry plight.

Might find thee in some amber clime, Where sunlight dazzles on the sail, And dreaming of our plighted vale Might seal the dream, and bless the time, With maiden kisses three.

This room has been the scene of the happiest hours of my life in which my coeternal companion, incased in the flesh of a real man, plighted his everlasting love and devotion to me.

Had Corbeau received less than the usual indulgent understanding from his fellows and superiors that a young officer in such a plight might ordinarily expect?

Putting up with a doltish cousin and penurious foster parents for a few years scarcely seems the Cinderella-ish plight Rowling intends it to appear, considering the Oxford of wizard schools is waiting to bring Harry into the fold.

Latin gentleman of wealth and position who had taken for his own the plight of the favela poor and the landless peasants.

What it has taken minutes to write occurred in but a few seconds, but during that time Tars Tarkas had seen my plight and had dropped from the lower branches, which he had reached with such infinite labour, and as I flung the last of my immediate antagonists from me the great Thark leaped to my side, and again we fought, back to back, as we had done a hundred times before.

Despite his show of gruffness, he too was moved by the plight of the children.

Roman The idea of the sorry plight in which I had left the Marquis de Prie, his mistress, and perhaps all the company, who had undoubtedly coveted the contents of my cash-box, amused me till I reached Chamberi, where I only stopped to change horses.

My readers will remember that I had been on the point of marrying Therese, and this circumstance made me ashamed of presenting myself to her in such a sorry plight.