General English

  • noun something which causes damage or spoils something


  • noun a disease caused by different fungi, that rapidly destroys a plant or plant part
  • verb to ruin or spoil the environment


  • any one of several diseases of grapevines, usually one caused by fungi or bacteria. The destruction caused by the phylloxera root aphid is sometimes called blight.

Origin & History of “blight”

Blight appeared out of the blue in the early 17th century in agricultural and horticultural texts, and its origins are far from clear. It has, however, been speculated that it may be connected with the Old English words blǣce and blǣcthu, both terms for some sort of itchy skin condition such as scabies. these in turn are probably related to Old English blǣcan ‘bleach’, the link being the flaky whiteness of the infected skin. In middle English, blǣcthu would have become *bleht, which could plausibly have been the source of blight. A related piece in the jigsaw is blichening ‘blight or rust in corn’, found once in Middle English, which may have come ultimately from Old Norse blikna ‘become pale’.