1

ill

play
adjective \ ˈil \

Definition of ill

worse play \ˈwərs\; worst play \ˈwərst\
1 a chiefly Scotland :immoral, vicious
b :resulting from, accompanied by, or indicative of an evil or malevolent intention
  • ill deeds
c :attributing evil or an objectionable quality
  • held an ill opinion of his neighbors
2 a :causing suffering or distress
  • ill weather
b comparative also iller; superlative also illest
(1) :not normal or sound
  • ill health
(2) :not in good health; also :nauseated
3 a :not suited to circumstances or not to one's advantage :unlucky
  • an ill omen
b :involving difficulty :hard
4 a :not meeting an accepted standard
  • ill manners
b archaic :notably unskillful or inefficient
5 :unfriendly, hostile
  • ill feeling

Examples of ill in a Sentence

  1. That dog can eat almost anything with no ill effects.

  2. They had been subjected to months of ill treatment.

Recent Examples of ill from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of ill

Middle English, from Old Norse illr


2

ill

adverb

Definition of ill

worse; worst
1 a :with displeasure or hostility
b :in a harsh manner
c :so as to reflect unfavorably
  • spoke ill of the neighbors
2 :in a reprehensible manner
3 :hardly, scarcely
  • can ill afford such extravagances
4 a :in an unfortunate manner :badly, unluckily
  • ill fares the land … where wealth accumulates, and men decay
  • —Oliver Goldsmith
b :in a faulty, inefficient, insufficient, or unpleasant manner often used in combination
  • the methods used may be ill-adapted to the aims in view
  • —R. M. Hutchins

Examples of ill in a Sentence

  1. He is being ill served by his advisers.

  2. Please don't think ill of me.

  3. He was a good man who never spoke ill of anyone.

First Known Use of ill

13th century


3

ill

noun

Definition of ill

1 :the reverse of good :evil
b (1) :ailment, sickness
(2) :something that disturbs or afflicts :trouble
  • economic and social ills
3 :something that reflects unfavorably
  • spoke no ill of him

Examples of ill in a Sentence

  1. chicken pox and the other ills that were once a fixture of childhood

  2. idealistic people who try to cure all of our society's ills

Recent Examples of ill from the Web

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

First Known Use of ill

13th century


4

ill

abbreviation

Definition of ill

illustrated; illustration; illustrator

Ill

abbreviation

Definition of Ill

Illinois

Ill

play
geographical name \ ˈēl \

Definition of Ill

river 129 miles (208 kilometers) long in northeastern France flowing into the Rhine River

ILL Defined for English Language Learners

ill

play
adjective

Definition of ill for English Language Learners

  • : not well or healthy : sick or unhealthy

  • of health : not normal or good

  • : harmful or damaging


ill

adverb

Definition of ill for English Language Learners

  • : in a bad or imperfect way

  • : in an unfavorable or unkind way


ill

noun

Definition of ill for English Language Learners

  • : bad or unlucky things

  • : a sickness or disease

  • ills : troubles or problems


ILL Defined for Kids

1

ill

play
adjective \ ˈil \

Definition of ill for Students

worse \ˈwərs\; worst \ˈwərst\
1 :not in good health :sick
  • an ill person
2 :not normal or sound
  • ill health
3 :meant to do harm :evil
  • ill deeds
4 :causing suffering or distress
  • ill weather
5 :not helpful
  • He was plagued by ill luck.
6 :not kind or friendly
  • ill intentions
7 :not right or proper
  • ill manners

2

ill

adverb

Definition of ill for Students

worse; worst
1 :with displeasure or anger
  • The remark was ill received.
2 :in a harsh or unkind way
  • The animals were ill treated.
3 :scarcely 1, hardly
  • He can ill afford it.
4 :in a bad or faulty way
  • They're ill-prepared to face the winter.

3

ill

noun

Definition of ill for Students

1 :the opposite of good
  • Things will change for good or ill.
2 :a sickness or disease
  • childhood ills
3 :1trouble 2
  • society's ills

Ill.

abbreviation

Definition of Ill. for Students

Illinois

Medical Dictionary

1

ill

play
adjective \ ˈil \

medical Definition of ill

worse play \ˈwərs\ also iller play \ˈil-ər\; worst play \ˈwərst\
1 :affected with some ailment :not in good health
  • incurably ill with cancer
  • Time
  • mentally ill
2 :affected with nausea often to the point of vomiting
  • thought she would be ill after the ride on the roller coaster

2

ill

noun

medical Definition of ill

:ailment, sickness
  • chicken pox and other ills of childhood


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