sick·​en | \ ˈsi-kən How to pronounce sicken (audio) \
sickened; sickening\ ˈsi-​kə-​niŋ How to pronounce sicken (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 sicken (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 The defendant in this case allegedly used deception to sicken her spouse. NBC News, "Woman, 70, accused of spiking husband's coffee with insect killer," 18 Jan. 2021 Belongia and many others say the coronavirus won’t ever be stamped out and will become one of the many seasonal viruses that sicken people. Candice Choi,, "Despite the expected arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, it could be well into 2021 before things get back to something close to normal," 24 Nov. 2020 As the coronavirus continues to spread and sicken Marylanders, Gov. Larry Hogan plans to discuss Tuesday evening efforts to combat the disease. Pamela Wood,, "Maryland Gov. Hogan plans coronavirus update Tuesday amid rising numbers of cases, hospitalizations," 10 Nov. 2020 The coronavirus is lurking around every corner like a ghoul in a Halloween cornfield, waiting to leap out and frighten — if not sicken or kill — anyone who dares pass by. New York Times, "This School Year Has Been Unlike Any Other," 14 Oct. 2020 Viruses can sicken and kill people and compromise the economy directly. Nicholas Christakis, WSJ, "The Long Shadow of the Pandemic: 2024 and Beyond," 16 Oct. 2020 The other contains iron phosphate, which is considered very low in toxicity, according to the National Pesticide Information Center at OSU, but has been known to sicken dogs in high amounts. oregonlive, "Fall’s the time to control slugs as they lay eggs for next year," 15 Oct. 2020 The President’s infection will undoubtedly insure that his bungling of the pandemic—which continues to kill nearly a thousand Americans a day, and to sicken thousands more—remains the overriding story of the campaign. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, "After Trump’s Coronavirus Diagnosis, What’s His Medical Outlook?," 2 Oct. 2020 And although many people have recovered from bouts with mild infections and life-threatening illness, COVID-19 continues to sicken people in all 120 Kentucky counties. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "With new coronavirus cases emerging, Kentucky health leaders worry about fall's advance," 2 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for sicken

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sicken

Last Updated

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sicken.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for sicken


How to pronounce sicken (audio)

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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Comments on sicken

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