ail·​ing | \ ˈā-liŋ How to pronounce ailing (audio) \

Definition of ailing

: having or suffering from an illness or injury providing care for his ailing mother trying to rest her ailing knee/back a person in ailing health often used figuratively an ailing companyan ailing economy

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Synonyms & Antonyms for ailing


invalid, sickly, weakly


healthy, well

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Examples of ailing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Brian Cox plays Logan Roy, a spectacularly successful but ailing Scottish tycoon who lives in New York City. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "Confirmed: Yes, Rupert Murdoch's Family Enjoys Watching "Succession"," 8 Apr. 2019 An emergency effort to feed and treat an ailing young member of the endangered southern resident killer whales made headway on Thursday, according to rescuers. Christine Clarridge, The Seattle Times, "Sick orca gets shot of antibiotics as rescuers prepare feeding attempt," 10 Aug. 2018 Photo: Getty Edward Lampert, the billionaire who led Sears Holdings Corp. into bankruptcy, has increased his offer to more than $5 billion, in a last-ditch effort to keep the ailing retailer alive. Peg Brickley, WSJ, "Lampert’s Revised Bid for Sears Tops $5 Billion," 10 Jan. 2019 The president, who as a candidate in 2016 mocked McCain's capture in Vietnam, had jabbed at the ailing senator for voting against Republican efforts to roll back President Barack Obama's health care law. Laurie Kellman, Fox News, "For McCain, a cross-country farewell from public, presidents," 26 Aug. 2018 What transformed the ailing backwater was Europe’s burgeoning leisure class, whose members arrived on vacation, seeking the healthful climate and affordable places to stay during the winter. James Mcauley, Town & Country, "The Tragic, Fascinating History of Santo Sospir," 13 Aug. 2018 Direct air capture is still in its infancy, though, and needs lots more R&D. Carbon dioxide–spewing coal plants are closing down despite the Trump administration’s desperate attempts to prop up the ailing industry. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Climate and energy news in 2018 actually wasn’t all bad," 1 Jan. 2019 During Mayor Virginia Raggi’s tenure at City Hall, the Italian capital has endured an ailing mass transit system and pileups of uncollected trash. Washington Post, "Italy’s anti-migrant minister steals partner party’s show," 8 July 2018 The truck was about to continue its journey until people realized that the child belonged with the ailing woman. Juan Montes, WSJ, "Fleeing Poverty and Violence, Central American Women Explain Why They Join Caravans," 4 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ailing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ailing

1598, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near ailing

ailes de pigeon






Ailsa Craig

Statistics for ailing

Last Updated

3 May 2019

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Time Traveler for ailing

The first known use of ailing was in 1598

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Comments on ailing

What made you want to look up ailing? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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