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inflict (someone or something) (up)on (one)

1. To cause someone to have to care for someone else, especially when doing so is burdensome or otherwise unwelcome. Oh, please don't inflict Uncle Albert on me—he's so obnoxious!
2. To cause someone to have to endure something that is damaging, troublesome, or problematic. Their military is trying to inflict maximum damage upon our country. Stop inflicting so much pressure on your daughter and let her live her own life!
See also: inflict

self-inflicted wound

1. Literally, an injury that one causes to oneself. In wartime, some soldiers use self-inflicted wounds as a way to escape battle.
2. By extension, problems or difficulties that one causes for oneself. They'd have won that game if not for the self-inflicted wounds, like three penalties for too many men on the ice.
See also: wound
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

inflict someone (up)on someone

to burden someone with the care or keeping of someone else. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) Please don't inflict Bob upon me. My brother inflicted his children on us for the weekend. Well, I certainly don't want to inflict myself on you for the weekend, but I do need a place to stay.
See also: inflict, on

inflict something (up)on someone or something

to impose something, such as pain, a burden, a problem, etc., on someone or something. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) I hate to inflict an additional burden upon you, but someone has to clean the oven. Please don't inflict that on me.
See also: inflict, on
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

inflict on

or inflict upon
To deal or mete out something that punishes or is burdensome; impose something: The insurgents inflicted heavy losses on the troops. The hurricane inflicted great damage upon the coastal communities.
See also: inflict, on
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"Innocent" juvenile exploration into computer systems can cause expensive systems to crash and inflict financial burdens to restore them.
A MAN who inflicted agonising injuries on a baby has been jailed for 13 years.
The subject is attempting to escape from the vicinity of a violent confrontation in which he inflicted or attempted the infliction of death or serious physical injury.
"All the agencies involved have taken action to strengthen the way they work together so that action is taken as far as possible to protect children from harm." The youngster suffered a host of injuries at the hands of Davey, including fractured ribs and punctures to the stomach and bowel, all inflicted by Davey.
FAISALABAD -- The Agriculture Department has urged farmers not to burn remains of crops, which inflicts damage to organic matter of soil in addition to causing smog.
"We've got to tell our young people that if you inflict a head injury, regardless of the outcome, you will go to prison.
"In the past the idea was kill one, frighten 10,000, now the aim of launching an attack is not just to inflict psychological damage but the primary means of making war, particularly if you are weak and your enemy is strong," Mr Yardley said.
Co-accused Sarah Davey is alleged to have tried to inflict really serious harm and also faces cruelty charges.
Michael James Hughes, 18, of Grangeway, Runcorn, was sentenced to four years youth custody after he admitted using a knife to inflict grievous bodily harm on Michael Boswell.
Dr Elizabeth Myserscough told the High Court in Aberdeen: "These injuries required adult force to inflict."
Islamabad, February 21, 2010 (Balochistan Times): Pakistan nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan has said that in the event of a nuclear war, Pakistan can inflict irreparable damage to India.
The popular forces managed to inflict major losses on Tahrir al-Sham terrorists and fended off their attack.
Though parents have a parental role to ensure their erring children are corrected and shown the way to go, the same parents do not have the right to inflict physical or emotional pains on their children.
Town arrived at Old Trafford with only one league win in three games yet ran riot in Lancashire - Alex Jackson and Gerry Kelly recording a hat-trick each to inflict a damaging 6-0 defeat on United.
In 2015, the Tories pushed through the welfare reform and work Bill, designed to inflict more cuts on our most vulnerable citizens.