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a. Any of numerous plant diseases resulting in sudden conspicuous wilting and dying of affected parts, especially young, growing tissues.
b. The condition or causative agent, such as a bacterium, fungus, or virus, that results in blight.
a. An agent or action that harms or ruins the value or success of something: "the heavy-handed, moralistic parenting that was the blight of the traditional family" (Theodore Roszack).
b. A condition or result of harmful or ruinous action: policies that lifted the city from economic blight.
v. blight·ed, blight·ing, blights
1. To cause (a plant, for example) to undergo blight.
2. To have a deleterious effect on; ruin. See Synonyms at blast.
To suffer blight.

[Origin unknown.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Under the Young Girl's blighting reign--or rather under the rule of those false Ministers of the Censure who have appointed themselves to the custody of her welfare--love veils her sacred fires, And, unaware, Morality expires,
Every moment of the man's waking life was filled with morbid thought of hatred--he had become mentally as he was physically in outward appearance, the personification of the blighting emotion of Hate.
A long suburb of red brick houses--some with patches of garden-ground, where coal-dust and factory smoke darkened the shrinking leaves, and coarse rank flowers, and where the struggling vegetation sickened and sank under the hot breath of kiln and furnace, making them by its presence seem yet more blighting and unwholesome than in the town itself--a long, flat, straggling suburb passed, they came, by slow degrees, upon a cheerless region, where not a blade of grass was seen to grow, where not a bud put forth its promise in the spring, where nothing green could live but on the surface of the stagnant pools, which here and there lay idly sweltering by the black road-side.