illness

noun
ill·​ness | \ ˈil-nəs \

Definition of illness 

b : an unhealthy condition of body or mind

2 obsolete

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of illness in a Sentence

Her body was not able to defend itself against illness. Hundreds of soldiers died from illness and hunger. He showed no signs of illness. Scientists have not yet found a cure for this illness. cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses She died at the age of 60 after a brief illness.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Getty Images Fans of beloved Modern Family actress Sarah Hyland know that she's been candid in the past about her lifelong struggle with chronic illness, but there's more to the story. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "Sarah Hyland Talks to 'Self' About Her Second Kidney Transplant and Suicidal Thoughts," 10 Dec. 2018 The idea behind it is that our Western pattern of eating is contributing to the rise of chronic illness and obesity. Amy Capetta, Good Housekeeping, "Paleo Versus Keto: Which Is the Better Diet for You?," 10 Dec. 2018 The virus can exacerbate chronic illnesses, too, masking the viral trigger. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Last year’s flu was brutal—killing 80,000—but vaccine did better than expected," 27 Sep. 2018 Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, the country's No. 2 after the ruling Communist Party's leader, died Friday after a serious illness, the government said. Fox News, "Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang dies of illness at 61," 21 Sep. 2018 Leo Gerard Raboin, 70, of Plainville, passed away in the comfort of his home surrounded by his loving family on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 after a lengthy illness. courant.com, "Leo Gerard Raboin," 13 July 2018 Randy Harvey, a renowned umpire who has called games for more than 3 decades in college and the major leagues, had both his legs amputated after a mysterious illness that doctors still haven’t determined the source. Stephen Ruiz, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Umpires rally around Sanford peer after infection costs him his legs," 6 July 2018 Jewel-Osco President Doug Cygan died Thursday morning after a brief illness. Greg Trotter, chicagotribune.com, "Jewel-Osco President Doug Cygan dead at 55," 5 July 2018 Alan Longmuir, founding bass player with the Bay City Rollers, the Scottish ‘70s pop phenomenon, has died following a brief illness. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Alan Longmuir, Founding Bass Player With Bay City Rollers, Dies at 70," 2 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of illness

circa 1500, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about illness

Statistics for illness

Last Updated

5 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for illness

The first known use of illness was circa 1500

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for illness

illness

noun

English Language Learners Definition of illness

: a condition of being unhealthy in your body or mind

: a specific condition that prevents your body or mind from working normally : a sickness or disease

illness

noun
ill·​ness | \ ˈil-nəs \

Kids Definition of illness

1 : an unhealthy condition of the body or mind Germs can cause illness.
2 : a specific sickness or disease Colds are a common illness.

illness

noun
ill·​ness | \ ˈil-nəs \

Medical Definition of illness 

: an unhealthy condition of body or mind : sickness

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on illness

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with illness

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for illness

Spanish Central: Translation of illness

Nglish: Translation of illness for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of illness for Arabic Speakers

Comments on illness

What made you want to look up illness? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by shyness and lack of polish

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Liar, Liar Quiz

  • alt-5761dbe2ba986
  • Someone who pretends to be sick in order to avoid work is a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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