ail·​ing | \ˈā-liŋ \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for ailing


invalid, sickly, weakly


healthy, well

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of ailing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

After years of an ailing pontiff leading a stuffy Church, Cardinal Bergoglio’s common touch and his South American pedigree seemed a logical choice for a Church desperate to engage with its future. Jason Horowitz, Vogue, "How Pope Francis Is Changing the Catholic Church," 16 July 2018 Enforcing labeling requirements would also yield little benefit to ailing dairy farmers while adding more confusing labeling demands. Umair Irfan, Vox, "“Fake milk”: why the dairy industry is boiling over plant-based milks," 31 Aug. 2018 Taking care of aging parents or an ailing child, spouse or sibling can be a full-time job. Doug Williams,, "How to talk to your boss about caregiving," 25 Apr. 2018 Auralís Herrero Lugo moved to Puerto Rico from New York City in January with a plan to rebuild the island’s ailing fashion industry. Frances Solá-santiago, Glamour, "This Female-Founded Start-up Wants to Rebuild Puerto Rico's Fashion Industry," 16 Aug. 2018 And with the ailing Arizona Sen. John McCain away from Washington, any GOP defections could begin to imperil a nominee. Catherine Lucey, Washington Post, "Trump mulls Supreme Court choice from 2 or 3 candidates," 7 July 2018 Trump could choose a replacement more amendable to what the Energy Department wants to do to prop more those financially ailing generators. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Top Park Service official admits he acted inappropriately, but his job appears safe," 29 June 2018 Ojakian and his staff came up with the merger plan to save $28 million in an effort to make the financially ailing colleges more sustainable. Kathleen Megan,, "CSCU President Says He Won't Resign And He Will Continue To Pursue College Merger," 1 May 2018 During Mayor Virginia Raggi's tenure at City Hall, the Italian capital has endured an ailing mass transit system and pileups of uncollected trash. Frances D'emilio, Fox News, "Italy's anti-migrant minister steals partner party's show," 8 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of ailing

1598, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ailing

Dictionary Entries near ailing

ailes de pigeon






Ailsa Craig

Statistics for ailing

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ailing

The first known use of ailing was in 1598

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to make faulty or ineffective

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!