Plight refers to a difficult or challenging situation or condition, typically involving hardship, distress, or precarious circumstances.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



predicament, dilemma, hardship, adversity, difficulty, crisis, quandary, trouble, misfortune, struggle


advantage, boon, fortune, prosperity, success, well-being, blessing, breakthrough

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun plights, plight
Verb plights, plight, plighted, plighting
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The refugees found themselves in a desperate plight, with limited access to food, shelter, and medical assistance.

  • The company’s financial plight forced them to lay off a significant number of employees to cut costs.

  • Despite the government’s efforts to address the poverty plight, many families still struggle to meet their basic needs.

  • The environmentalist raised awareness about the plight of endangered species, urging people to take action before it’s too late.


The word “plight” has a rich history and usage in the English language. Its origin can be traced back to the Middle English word “plihten,” which means “to endanger or fold.” It shares a common root with the word “pledge,” as its original meaning referred to a promise or engagement. Over time, “plight” also came to signify an unfortunate or difficult situation, reflecting its current usage.

The term “plight” is primarily used as a noun in modern English. It describes a challenging or distressing circumstance that someone finds themselves in. Whether it pertains to personal or collective struggles, the word conveys a sense of hardship and adversity. It is often employed to discuss social, economic, or political dilemmas, highlighting the plight of disadvantaged groups or individuals.

The word “plight” can also be combined with various prefixes or suffixes to create related terms. For example, the prefix “de-” can be added to form “deplight,” implying a state of extreme distress or misery. Similarly, the suffix “-ed” can be attached to create “plighted,” indicating someone or something trapped in a difficult situation.

Due to its versatility and evocative nature, “plight” is commonly used in literature, journalism, and everyday conversations. It serves as a powerful term to describe the challenges faced by individuals, communities, or entire societies. By highlighting their plight, people hope to raise awareness, inspire empathy, and spur action to address the underlying issues causing their difficulties.

In summary, the word “plight” has a long history in the English language and has evolved to signify a challenging situation or condition. Its usage as a noun denotes hardship, distress, or adversity. With its various prefixes, suffixes, and root connections, “plight” allows for the formation of related terms to further emphasize different aspects of difficult circumstances. From literary works to discussions on social issues, this word serves as a means to convey and address the struggles experienced by individuals and communities.