ail

verb
\ ˈāl How to pronounce ail (audio) \
ailed; ailing; ails

Definition of ail

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to give physical or emotional pain, discomfort, or trouble to His back has been ailing him. It's good for what ails you. What's ailing you?

intransitive verb

: to have something the matter an ailing economy especially : to suffer ill health She has been ailing for years.

ail

noun

Definition of ail (Entry 2 of 2)

: ailment winter ails

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Examples of ail in a Sentence

Noun

half of the staff is out sick with the usual wintertime ails

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

When Henrik Poulsen became DONG’s boss in 2012, gas and coal power plants were ailing. The Economist, "Orsted has helped boost the prospects of offshore windpower," 31 Aug. 2019 Further Reading Elon Musk knows what’s ailing NASA—costly contracting What seems clear is that this is a new era at NASA. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Actually, NASA is looking at all options for the Moon—including prizes," 23 Aug. 2019 Then, one by one, six of his sisters who had cared for their ailing mother were killed by Ebola. NBC News, "Ebola vaccine hampered by deep distrust in eastern Congo," 25 July 2019 Jose Alvarado, who rejoined the Rays on Friday after being gone from the team since June 2 to be with his ailing mother, was one of three relievers that completed a five-hitter. Mark Didtler, orlandosentinel.com, "In debut, Rays’ McKay takes perfect game into 6th in 5-2 victory over Texas," 29 June 2019 The plan, which could be announced next week, calls for the potential elimination of up to 20,000 jobs worldwide and largely shutting entire divisions of the company’s ailing Wall Street operations, according to people briefed on the matter. David Enrich, New York Times, "Deutsche Bank, in a Last-Ditch Effort to Stop Its Spiral, Could Lay Off 20,000," 28 June 2019 Kevon Looney is ailing, and Andre Iguodala seems to have run out of offense. ‘Strength in Numbers’ has run its course, drawing Alfonzo McKinnie, Shaun Livingston, Andrew Bogut, and Quinn Cook into roles beyond their current capabilities. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Kevin Durant Is All That Separates the Warriors From Survival and Defeat," 10 June 2019 On the right, a growing number of intellectuals see nationalism as the cure for what ails us. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "Neither Left nor Right Has Proper Remedy for America’s Illness," 7 Aug. 2019 Suckers also can be an indication that a tree is stressed or ailing, Janoski said. Beth Botts, chicagotribune.com, "Prune suckers from trees close to the ground," 15 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Apple’s smartphone shipments in China fell 20% in the quarter ended December from a year earlier, according to International Data Corp. Tepid iPhone sales aren't all that ail Apple in China. Stella Yifan Xie, WSJ, "Apple to Chinese Consumers: Buy a New iPhone for Under $30 a Month, Interest Free," 21 Feb. 2019 Brian Dennehy is Irina’s ailing elder brother, Sorin, although Dennehy, at seventy-nine, still looks too bearishly robust to ail. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“First Reformed” and “The Seagull”," 11 May 2018 The pitch inherently presumes a technologically advanced society, one where medicine has cured our physical ails. Will Nevin, OregonLive.com, "TBT #22: Join a 'Cold War,' take a 'Void Trip'," 26 Dec. 2017 Normally served on the street, ya dong’s herbal powers are said to cure bodily ails. Natalie B. Compton, GQ, "The Best Bars in Bangkok, as Told by Locals," 1 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ail.' 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 ail

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ail

Verb and Noun

Middle English eilen, from Old English eglan; akin to Goth agljan to harm

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Statistics for ail

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ail

The first known use of ail was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for ail

ail

verb
\ ˈāl How to pronounce ail (audio) \

Kids Definition of ail

1 : to be wrong with What ails you?
2 : to suffer especially with ill health She has been ailing for years.
\ ˈā(ə)l How to pronounce ail (audio) \

Medical Definition of ail

: to affect with a disease or physical or emotional pain or discomfort what ails the patient

intransitive verb

: to become affected with pain or discomfort : to suffer ill health was ailing from a cold

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More from Merriam-Webster on ail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ail

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ail

Spanish Central: Translation of ail

Nglish: Translation of ail for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ail for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ail

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