pill

1 of 3

verb (1)

pilled; pilling; pills

intransitive verb

dialectal, chiefly England : to come off in flakes or scales : peel

transitive verb

1
archaic : to subject to depredation or extortion
2
dialect : to peel or strip off

pill

2 of 3

noun

1
a
: a usually medicinal or dietary preparation in a small rounded mass to be swallowed whole
b
or Pill : birth control pill
usually used with the
2
: something repugnant or unpleasant that must be accepted or endured
3
: something resembling a pill in size or shape
4
: a disagreeable or tiresome person

pill

3 of 3

verb (2)

pilled; pilling; pills

transitive verb

1
: to dose with pills
2

intransitive verb

: to become rough with or mat into little balls
brushed woolens often pill

Examples of pill in a Sentence

Noun She took a pill for her headache. The drug is available as a pill or a liquid.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
On Sephora $59 What’s Great About It Firming gel made with a blend of peptides Rosemary leaf extract minimizes swelling Results in minutes What Could Be Better Pricey May pill The under-eye area is delicate and soft, but firm skin gives a healthy and youthful appearance. Enjanae' Taylor, Southern Living, 2 May 2024 The formula quickly absorbs into the skin, doesn’t pill, works well under makeup, and doesn’t leave a white cast. Alyssa Brascia, Peoplemag, 30 Mar. 2024
Noun
In June 2021, a pill sold in the Imperial Valley went for about $1.65 or $1.75, but dropped later that year to $1.25. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 6 June 2024 The shots replace a patient’s oral medication — no more taking a pill every day. Cal Matters, The Mercury News, 5 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for pill 

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb (1)

Middle English pilen, pillen, partly from Old English pilian to peel, partly from Anglo-French piler to rob

Noun

Middle English pylle, from Anglo-French pile & Middle Dutch pille, both ultimately from Latin pilula, from diminutive of pila ball

First Known Use

Verb (1)

12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (2)

1736, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pill was in the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near pill

Cite this Entry

“Pill.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pill. Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

pill

1 of 2 noun
1
a
: medicine or a food supplement in a small rounded mass to be swallowed whole
b
often capitalized : an oral contraceptive
usually used with the
2
: something resembling a pill in shape or size
3
: something unpleasant that must be accepted or endured
4
: an unpleasant or tiresome person

pill

2 of 2 verb
of a garment
: to develop small balls of fiber on the surface because of wear

Medical Definition

pill

noun
1
: a usually medicinal or dietary preparation in a small rounded mass to be swallowed whole
2
often capitalized : birth control pill
usually used with the
has been on the pill for three years

More from Merriam-Webster on pill

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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