\ ˈsik How to pronounce sic (audio) , ˈsēk How to pronounce sic (audio) \

Definition of sic

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: intentionally so written used after a printed word or passage to indicate that it is intended exactly as printed or to indicate that it exactly reproduces an original said he seed [sic] it all


\ ˈsik How to pronounce sic (audio) \
variants: or less commonly sick
sicced also sicked\ ˈsikt How to pronounce sic (audio) \; siccing also sicking

Definition of sic (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : chase, attack usually used as a command especially to a dog sic 'em
2 : to incite or urge to an attack, pursuit, or harassment : set sicced their lawyers on me


\ ˈsik How to pronounce sic (audio) \

Definition of sic (Entry 3 of 3)

chiefly Scottish variant of such

Did you know?

The adverb sic, usually enclosed in brackets, is a word editors use in the reproduction of someone else's speech or writing to indicate that an unexpected form exactly reproduces the original and is not a copier's mistake. Sic comes from Latin, in which it means "so" or "thus." Though it's a useful tool, some usage commentators feel it is bad manners to use a sic to needlessly call attention to someone's error or to deride the language of a less-educated person.

Examples of sic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To quickly summarize the meat of the episode: Varga, through Mike Ehrmantraut, makes contact with Gus Fring — the cartel’s man in the north, who used Varga to sic the hitmen on Salamanca. Andy Meek, BGR, 28 Apr. 2022 Lorenz retweeted his post. Reporting the name of someone who already has a public profile and also uses a twitter account to sic hordes of trolls on other people is not doxing. Grayson Quay, The Week, 19 Apr. 2022 The college students stood across the street from the courthouse when police doused the protestors with tear gas, sic dogs on them and arrested many of the students. Shannon Rae Green, USA TODAY, 24 Jan. 2022 And liberals applauded President Biden’s recent decision to sic his Justice Department on parents who dare to speak out against racially tendentious education policies and scientifically suspect Covid protocols at school board meetings. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, 12 Oct. 2021 No word yet on whether Villeneuve is going to sic the Fremen on Warner Bros. Bethy Squires, Vulture, 22 Oct. 2021 How many Americans really think that the answer to beating Covid-19 is to sic the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on American employers? The Editorial Board, WSJ, 15 Oct. 2021 Don't worry: The three major credit reporting agencies don't report nonpayment on medical bill information for 180 days, and hospitals are unlikely to immediately sic a creditor on you anyway. Jennifer Chesak,, 10 May 2021 Amazon should pay these costs (plus) and not have them bourne (sic) by the American Taxpayer. Ella Lee, USA TODAY, 11 Aug. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of sic


circa 1859, in the meaning defined above


1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sic


Latin, so, thus — more at so


alteration of seek

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Cite this Entry

“Sic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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