ill at ease


Definition of ill at ease

: not feeling easy : uncomfortable

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Examples of ill at ease in a Sentence

He seemed ill at ease when we spoke with him. I'm usually ill at ease when addressing a large crowd of people.
Recent Examples on the Web Heaney would not have been ill at ease in these environs. James Parker, The Atlantic, "Seamus Heaney’s Journey Into Darkness," 20 June 2020 Stylistically, the president himself seemed ill at ease in the formal setting, offering a monotone and labored delivery from behind the Resolute Desk, twiddling his thumbs and even, in moments, struggling to read words on the teleprompter. Author: Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey, Anchorage Daily News, "Ten minutes at the teleprompter: Inside Trump’s failed attempt to calm coronavirus fears," 13 Mar. 2020 Since his condition inevitably makes him ill at ease in social situations, Bart has devised a clever, if fiendish, way to improve himself. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Night Clerk': Film Review," 19 Feb. 2020 Repeatedly fidgeting and mopping his brow, Fray looked ill at ease in No. 2, and this showed up in occasional patches of rushing. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Five pianists, Fort Worth Symphony perform all five Beethoven piano concertos," 5 Jan. 2020 Carell’s Mitch, groomed to physically resemble Lauer, is enraged, barking at handlers who seem ill at ease in his presence. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "What Makes The Morning Show Worth Watching," 1 Nov. 2019 Her energy fizzled in the second debate, when she was thrown on the defensive by attacks on her record as California’s attorney general and seemed ill at ease answering questions about her healthcare plan. Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times, "5 things to watch for in the Democratic debate on Thursday," 12 Sep. 2019 Salazar plays 28-year-old Alma Winograd-Diaz, a daycare center employee who’s ill at ease in her mundane existence. Jeanne Jakle,, "Amazon’s new animated series inspired by San Antonio," 31 July 2019 His most recent high-profile job, foreign secretary, found him ill at ease in a role that required more gravitas than grandiloquence. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, "Sure, Boris Johnson Is Funny. But Has He Ever Done a Job Well?," 22 July 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for ill at ease

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The first known use of ill at ease was in the 14th century

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Statistics for ill at ease

Last Updated

27 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ill at ease.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for ill at ease

ill at ease


English Language Learners Definition of ill at ease

: not comfortable or relaxed : nervous or embarrassed

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More from Merriam-Webster on ill at ease

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ill at ease

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ill at ease

Spanish Central: Translation of ill at ease

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