illness

noun

ill·​ness ˈil-nəs How to pronounce illness (audio)
1
b
: an unhealthy condition of body or mind
2
obsolete

Example Sentences

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 The reopening appears to have occurred without much, or any, planning, leaving the majority of China’s 1.4 billion residents vulnerable to illness, hospitalization, death, and long COVID—simultaneously. Byerin Prater, Fortune, 14 Jan. 2023 The Cowboys ruled out cornerback Trayvon Mullen (illness) for Monday’s game. Dallas News, 14 Jan. 2023 Vaccines are still vital tools to protect people from severe illness, particularly the most recent bivalent Covid booster that was released last fall in the US, Europe, and other countries to better fight Omicron infections. WIRED, 12 Jan. 2023 As of Thursday evening, Nesmith (non-COVID illness), Brissett (left hamstring soreness) and center Myles Turner (back spasms) were all listed as questionable for Friday's home game against the Atlanta Hawks. Dustin Dopirak, The Indianapolis Star, 12 Jan. 2023 Since last year, Pieters and other gay men have been pushing back against the stigmas associated with a new illness, mpox, formerly known as monkeypox. Los Angeles Times, 12 Jan. 2023 Critics have said that simply taking a day off won't help a student address the underlying issues causing distress, such as too much work, interpersonal conflicts or a deeper, undiagnosed illness. CBS News, 6 Jan. 2023 The Bears declared cornerback Jaylon Jones (concussion) and linebacker Sterling Weatherford (illness) out. Dan Wiederer, Chicago Tribune, 6 Jan. 2023 All of this raises familiar worries: more illness, more long COVID, more hospitalizations, more health-care system strain. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 5 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1500, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Time Traveler
The first known use of illness was circa 1500

Dictionary Entries Near illness

Cite this Entry

“Illness.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/illness. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

illness

noun
ill·​ness ˈil-nəs How to pronounce illness (audio)
1
: an unhealthy condition of body or mind
2

Medical Definition

illness

noun
ill·​ness ˈil-nəs How to pronounce illness (audio)
: an unhealthy condition of body or mind : sickness

More from Merriam-Webster on illness

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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