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

In 2015, 16 people died and 138 people were sickened in a large outbreak in the South Bronx. Melanie Grayce West, WSJ, "Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak Kills One and Sickens 15 in Northern Manhattan," 11 Oct. 2018 This is in addition to the 35 people who reportedly were sickened last week. Noel Harris, sacbee, "Why you should throw away your chopped romaine lettuce | The Sacramento Bee," 19 Apr. 2018 May says Russia’s ambassador to the U.K. has been summoned to explain how a Russian nerve agent turned up in Salisbury, the English city where Skripal and his adult daughter were sickened. Time, "Theresa May Says It's 'Highly Likely' Russia Is Responsible for Poisoning Ex-Spy Sergei Skripal," 12 Mar. 2018 The overall toll stemming from those who ate the leafy vegetable grown in the Yuma, Ariz., region is now five deaths and 197 sickened. Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY, "Tainted romaine lettuce deaths hit 5, cases encompass 35 states," 1 June 2018 Just months earlier in April, another E. coli outbreak linked to romaine had sickened more than 200 and killed five. Candice Choi, The Seattle Times, "Emails show FDA worry after romaine outbreaks," 29 Mar. 2019 But this isn’t the first salmonella outbreak to be somewhat mysterious in the early stages: In 2009, a large outbreak of salmonella was traced to peanut butter that eventually sickened more than 700 individuals in 46 states. Tara Smith, SELF, "Why Does It Seem Like Salmonella Is Popping Up in Every Food These Days?," 28 June 2018 Thirty-two people in 11 states have been sickened by the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 strain, and 13 of them were hospitalized. Brian Resnick, Vox, "CDC: Don’t eat romaine lettuce. If you have any, throw it away.," 21 Nov. 2018 Nine others who were sickened were evaluated and refused further medical attention, Eric Phillips, spokesman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, said. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Emirates plane carrying sick passengers lands at JFK airport, officials say," 2 Oct. 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

12 May 2019

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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).


one that collects or salvages junk

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