ill at ease


: not feeling easy : uncomfortable

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 Cinderella also becomes more ill at ease in the already-bad bosom of her lousy step-family (Jennifer Simard, Tess Soltau, Amy Hillner Larson) and falls into the arms — and independent mind — of rogue Original Fairy Godmother (Brooke Dillman). A.d. Amorosi, Variety, 22 June 2023 Everyone’s talking about it, or feeling ill at ease for knowing nothing about it. Bill Conerly, Forbes, 5 May 2023 The lawsuits portray Yao as presiding over a museum rife with comments and actions that made women ill at ease. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 20 Apr. 2023 But still, many of us are ill at ease. Your Fat Friend, SELF, 16 Apr. 2021 Yet as her boyfriend condescendingly natters on and on and posts his pics on TikTok, Lynn looks vaguely ill at ease, not entirely with the program, and not just because of the persistent pain in her breast. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 31 Mar. 2023 This time, Jon’s the one fidgety and ill at ease. Amanda Whiting, Vulture, 12 Sep. 2021 Peacock, talented, attractive, amatory, and a good friend to the bohemian Shelley circle, married, rather surprisingly, a Welsh parson’s daughter, Jane Gryffydh, who was ill at ease in London and developed life-long mental illness after the death of one of her children. Hermione Lee, The New York Review of Books, 17 Nov. 2020 To his moral credit, Levy often seems as ill at ease with luxury as with the prospect of a night walk through the rainforest or getting into a helicopter. Robert Lloydtelevision Critic, Los Angeles Times, 23 Feb. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near ill at ease

Cite this Entry

“Ill at ease.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

ill at ease

: feeling uncomfortable
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