A plight is a situation that's hard to get out of. Learning about the plight of people trying to rebuild their homes after a devastating earthquake might inspire you to send money to a charity.

Plight means predicament. It comes from the word for pleat, which means fold. A plight is a tough bind. You'll usually hear the word plight for groups of people or animals struggling to survive, or struggling for better lives. We talk about the plight of refugees, or the plight of sea birds after an oil spill. An old-fashioned use of plight is for pledge. If you get engaged, you give a plight of your love.

Definitions of plight
  1. noun
    a situation from which extrication is difficult especially an unpleasant or trying one
    “the woeful plight of homeless people”
    synonyms: morass, predicament, quagmire, quandary
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    a cause for feeling concern
    box, corner
    a predicament from which a skillful or graceful escape is impossible
    hot water
    a dangerous or distressing predicament
    type of:
    a condition or state of affairs almost beyond one's ability to deal with and requiring great effort to bear or overcome
  2. verb
    promise solemnly and formally
    synonyms: pledge
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    make a vow; promise
    guarantee, vouch
    give surety or assume responsibility
    enter into a covenant or formal agreement
    enter into a covenant
    commune, communicate
    receive Communion, in the Catholic church
    affiance, betroth, engage
    give to in marriage
    take vows, as in religious order
    promise solemnly; take an oath
    secure the release of (someone) by providing security
    give a guarantee or promise of
    administer Communion; in church
    assure payment of
    administer the rite of confirmation to
    bar mitzvah
    confirm in the bar mitzvah ceremony, of boys in the Jewish faith
    bat mitzvah
    confirm in the bat mitzvah ceremony, of girls in the Jewish faith
    type of:
    assure, promise
    make a promise or commitment
  3. verb
    give to in marriage
    synonyms: affiance, betroth, engage
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    type of:
    make a vow; promise
  4. noun
    a solemn pledge of fidelity
    synonyms: troth
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    type of:
    assurance, pledge
    a binding commitment to do or give or refrain from something
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