sick·​en | \ˈsi-kən \
sickened; sickening\ ˈsi-​kə-​niŋ , 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 , 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

An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease has sickened 11 people in Upper Manhattan, 10 of whom have been hospitalized, according to city health officials. Zoe Greenberg, New York Times, "Legionnaires’ Disease Sickens 11 in Upper Manhattan," 12 July 2018 And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the number sickened in the outbreak has reached 100 people in 33 states, the two latest states with ill people being Colorado and Florida. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "Recalled cereal in expanding salmonella outbreak illegally still being sold, FDA says," 12 July 2018 Still, Rogge and other researchers couldn’t say for certain what in the mussels would sicken the dogs. Tim Prudente,, "Explosion of false dark mussels revives hopes for clearer waters and concern for dogs in Anne Arundel County," 11 July 2018 Japan executed Shoko Asahara, the leader of the doomsday cult responsible for the 1995 sarin-gas attack on Tokyo's subway that killed 13 people and sickened thousands. Author: Stuart Biggs, Gearoid Reidy, Anchorage Daily News, "Japan executes cult leader and 6 others for deadly 1995 sarin attack," 6 July 2018 The mutated virus can now be passed around in areas where few people have been vaccinated, sickening some along the way. Julia Belluz, Vox, "A vaccine we don’t even use anymore is a reason polio keeps spreading — yes, really," 4 July 2018 And toxic algal blooms sickened swimmers in a handful of outbreaks. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "There might be poop in the water you’re swimming in so please don’t swallow it, CDC says," 29 June 2018 Andrey Suchilin, the man who caused an international flight to make an emergency landing last month because his body smell sickened other passengers on the plane, has died. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "Russian rocker kicked off flight for odor dies of disease he called 'very smelly'," 28 June 2018 Sanders was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant because the employees and owner find her actions fronting for the administration sickening. Karin Klein, star-telegram, "Why Sarah Sanders shouldn’t have been kicked out of that restaurant," 26 June 2018

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

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sicken

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

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More Definitions for sicken



English Language Learners Definition of sicken

: to become sick or to cause (someone) to become sick

: to cause (someone) to feel disgusted or angry


sick·​en | \ˈsi-kən \
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 \

Medical Definition of sicken 

: to make sick

intransitive verb

: to become sick

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Comments on sicken

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a private place of worship

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