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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Not long after, UBS was forced to rescue its ailing Swiss peer Credit Suisse in a $3.2 billion deal that required billions of francs in Swiss taxpayer money to help stabilize markets. Will Daniel, Fortune, 11 May 2023 Major stock indexes hardly budged Monday after regulators seized ailing lender First Republic Bank and agreed to sell the bulk of its operations to JPMorgan Chase. Ryan Dezember,, 1 May 2023 The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is likely to take over the ailing regional bank, CNBC reported, noting that hopes are fading that other lenders could step in to rescue First Republic. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, 28 Apr. 2023 In this play by Jose Rivera, the year is 1983, and elderly and ailing parents Ramon and Dolores (Luis Negron and Sara Burd) plan to return to their native Puerto Rico., 19 Apr. 2023 In a study published in Nature in December 2020, David Sinclair, a director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging Research at Harvard Medical School, along with colleagues, partly restored vision in middle-aged and ailing mice by reprogramming their gene expression. New York Times, 28 Apr. 2021 The key to Daco’s recession forecast is the ailing American consumer. Will Daniel, Fortune, 6 Apr. 2023 The longtime bank executive spent his Tuesday making amends with angry shareholders after the ailing Swiss lender required an emergency rescue last month that left investors nursing heavy losses. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 5 Apr. 2023 Specifically, the status of Houston’s Marcus Sasser’s ailing groin. Mark Heim |, al, 17 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ailing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from present participle of ail entry 1

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ailing was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near ailing

Cite this Entry

“Ailing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on ailing

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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