sick·​en | \ ˈsi-kən How to pronounce sicken (audio) \
sickened; sickening\ ˈsi-​kə-​niŋ How to pronounce sickening (audio) , ˈsik-​niŋ \

Definition of sicken

intransitive verb

1 : to become sick
2 : to become weary or satiated

transitive verb

1 : to make sick
2 : to cause revulsion in their prejudice sickens me

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Other Words from sicken

sickener \ ˈsi-​kə-​nər How to pronounce sickener (audio) , ˈsik-​nər \ noun

Examples of sicken in a Sentence

Many people sickened and died on the long voyage. The bacteria in the drinking water sickened the whole village. We were sickened by the reports of violence.
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Recent Examples on the Web

All that sweat and caring effort helps explain why the June 8 spill of potentially hazardous PFAS firefighting foam into the Farmington River hit Caruso and Button with sickening force. Gregory B. Hladky,, "Chemical spill in Farmington River a ‘sucker punch’ to people living along its banks," 1 July 2019 It was closed after an E. coli outbreak that claimed the life of a two-year-old boy and sickened 3 others. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Animal exhibits closed at fair following E.coli death of 2-year-old boy," 29 June 2019 Immigrant communities on edge despite delay Despite the two-week delay, the threat of mass arrests targeting families is still a source of a sickening worry rippling through communities across Arizona. J. Edward Moreno, azcentral, "What you need to know about delayed ICE raids on undocumented families," 24 June 2019 After cases of Hepatitis A took off in Louisville in late 2017, theliver disease spread across Kentucky, sickening more than 4,000, about half of whom had to be hospitalized, and killing at least 43. Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY, "As homeless are suffering, risk of hepatitis, typhus and other diseases is growing," 18 June 2019 Rainy weather can sicken gypsy moths and box elder bugs, making them more vulnerable to disease. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Yeah, we know it's been cold and rainy in Wisconsin. Blame the jet stream.," 17 June 2019 In 2014 and 2015, there were nearly 100 cases of the disease in the Flint area, resulting in the deaths and sickening over six dozen people. NBC News, "Michigan prosecutors dismiss all criminal charges in Flint water investigation," 13 June 2019 The Ebola virus that has stubbornly lingered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2018 has finally jumped the border, sickening a 5-year-old boy in Uganda. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "Ebola makes much-feared jump into Uganda," 11 June 2019 The vaccine-preventable disease, spread mostly among drug users, has sickened 4,682 Kentuckians since the outbreak was declared in November 2017, the report said. Chris Kenning, The Courier-Journal, "Hepatitis A death toll in Kentucky reaches 58 in state's latest report," 5 June 2019

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

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First Known Use of sicken

13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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Statistics for sicken

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sicken

The first known use of sicken was in the 13th century

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English Language Learners Definition of sicken

somewhat formal : to become sick or to cause (someone) to become sick
: to cause (someone) to feel disgusted or angry


sick·​en | \ ˈsi-kən How to pronounce sicken (audio) \
sickened; sickening

Kids Definition of sicken

1 : to make or become sick or ill Many of the colonists sickened on the long voyage.
2 : to cause to feel disgusted or angry We were sickened by his cruelty.
sick·​en | \ ˈsik-ən How to pronounce sicken (audio) \

Medical Definition of sicken

: to make sick

intransitive verb

: to become sick

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More from Merriam-Webster on sicken

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sicken

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sicken

Spanish Central: Translation of sicken

Nglish: Translation of sicken for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sicken for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sicken

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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