\ ˈsik How to pronounce sick (audio) \
sicker; sickest

Definition of sick

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : affected with disease or ill health : ailing
(2) : of, relating to, or intended for use in sickness took five sick days this month a sick ward
b : queasy, nauseated sick to one's stomach was sick in the car
c : undergoing menstruation
2 : spiritually or morally unsound or corrupt
3a : sickened by strong emotion sick with fear worried sick
b : having a strong distaste from surfeit : satiated sick of flattery
c : filled with disgust or chagrin gossip makes me sick
d : depressed and longing for something sick for one's home
4a : mentally or emotionally unsound or disordered : morbid sick thoughts
b : highly distasteful : macabre, sadistic sick jokes a sick crime
5 : lacking vigor : sickly: such as
a : badly outclassed made the competition look sick
b : incapable of producing profitable yields of a crop sick soils
6 slang : outstandingly or amazingly good or impressive Rookie was phenomenal Friday. His goal was nice, but the pass to twin brother, Chris, … was downright sick.— Roy Lang III



Definition of sick (Entry 2 of 2)


Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for sick

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of sick in a Sentence

Adjective He is at home sick in bed. She is sick with the flu. I'm too sick to go to work. The medicine just made me sicker. The sickest patients are in intensive care. My poor rosebush looks sick. She has been on the sick list all week. The way they treat people makes me sick.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Over a quarter of people know someone who has gone to work sick during the pandemic because of financial stresses, thereby risking the health of customers and staff. Chuck Robbins, Fortune, "To end the pandemic, every business leader must put worker health and equity first," 23 Feb. 2021 There are different theories as to why whales strand themselves, from chasing prey too far inshore to trying to protect a sick member of the group or escaping a predator. Nick Perry, Star Tribune, "40 beached whales refloated in New Zealand but fears remain," 22 Feb. 2021 The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp has raised the millions needed to rebuild after a fire destroyed four workshops at the Ashford retreat for sick children earlier this month, the CEO of the camp founded by legendary actor Paul Newman said Monday. Russell Blair,, "The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp has raised the millions needed to rebuild after a fire earlier this month," 22 Feb. 2021 Plans to bring in medical supplies — and evacuate at least three sick workers to Anchorage — were complicated by stormy weather that delayed some flights to the Aleutian Islands. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Trident Seafoods resumes operations at Aleutian plant in Alaska after monthlong COVID-19 shutdown," 22 Feb. 2021 And a staggering number of health care workers statewide — more than 14,000 — have become sick themselves. Kara Baskin,, "Sycamore’s Lydia Reichert prepares to open Jinny’s Pizzeria, an homage to her vivacious grandmother," 22 Feb. 2021 In her time on patrol, Brooks found that officers spend little time hauling people to jail and more on routine duties such as breaking up fights, shooing away aggressive panhandlers, writing accident reports and taking sick people to the hospital. Washington Post, "Law professor who patrolled as a D.C. street cop says police have ‘impossible job’," 22 Feb. 2021 The Gulf Coast tick can carry a pathogen formally known as Rickettsia parkeri that makes humans sick. Elyse Kelly, Washington Examiner, "New tick found in Illinois could make people sick," 22 Feb. 2021 The arrival of Mario Draghi, sworn in as Italy’s prime minister on February 13th (see article), offers some hope that Europe’s sick man may get a vital healing shot. The Economist, "From banker to prime minister Mario Draghi gives Italy another chance," 20 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sick.' 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 sick


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


1957, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sick


Middle English sek, sik, from Old English sēoc; akin to Old High German sioh sick

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sick

Time Traveler for sick

Time Traveler

The first known use of sick was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for sick

Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sick.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sick



English Language Learners Definition of sick

: affected with a disease or illness
: of or relating to people who are ill
informal : very annoyed or bored by something because you have had too much of it


\ ˈsik How to pronounce sick (audio) \
sicker; sickest

Kids Definition of sick

1 : affected with disease or illness : not well
2 : of, relating to, or intended for use in or during illness sick pay
3 : affected with or accompanied by nausea The bobbing of the boat made me feel sick.
4 : badly upset by strong emotion I was sick with worry.
5 : annoyed or bored of something from having too much of it We were sick of his whining.
6 : filled with disgust or anger Such gossip makes me sick.


\ ˈsik How to pronounce sick (audio) \

Medical Definition of sick

1a : affected with disease or ill health
b : of, relating to, or intended for use in sickness a sick ward
c : affected with nausea : inclined to vomit or being in the act of vomiting sick to one's stomach was sick in the car
2 : mentally or emotionally unsound or disordered

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on sick

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sick

Nglish: Translation of sick for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sick for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sick

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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