sick·​en·​ing | \ˈsi-kə-niŋ, ˈsik-niŋ\

Definition of sickening 

: causing sickness or disgust a sickening odor a sickening display

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Other Words from sickening

sickeningly \ˈsi-​kə-​niŋ-​lē, ˈsik-​niŋ-​ \ adverb

Examples of sickening in a Sentence

a sickening display of selfishness We heard the squeal of brakes and a sickening thud.

Recent Examples on the Web

The world witnessed the sickening consequences of modern warfare. Aaron Schnoor, WSJ, "The Great War Produced Some Great Poetry," 9 Nov. 2018 Spieth’s shot never had a prayer, landing on the front bank with a sickening thud and bouncing into its watery grave. Adam Schupak, New York Times, "At the Masters’ 12th Hole, Shots Are Left Twisting in the Wind," 4 Apr. 2018 Then a videotape surfaces at a news outlet, with sickening confirmation of Sabrina’s fate. New York Times, "Can You Illustrate Emotional Absence? These Graphic Novels Do," 31 May 2018 Ever since the Reagan revolution, Democrats have had a sickening feeling that their core idea about government is unsellable. The Economist, "Fork in the roadShould the party move to the left or to the centre?," 12 July 2018 Johnson is the prosecutor who helped a couple of trigger-happy Glynn County cops avoid prosecution in the sickening 2010 shooting death of Caroline Small, an unarmed mother trapped in her car after a slow-speed chase. Bill Torpy, ajc, "Torpy at Large: Something stinks in Brunswick, and it ain’t paper mills," 11 July 2018 An escape game will turn you into a sickening tyrant. Molly Young, New York Times, "Letter of Recommendation: Escape Rooms," 25 Apr. 2018 Maradona also offered a $10,000 to anyone able to identify the culprit of a sickening hoax that claimed the 56-year-old had died that same night. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Argentina legend Diego Maradona's behavior at the World Cup could be just for show," 30 June 2018 The carnage just inside the front door of the Brumback home was shocking even for longtime homicide detectives, but there was something else that hit them almost instantly about the crime scene – a sickening familiarity. CBS News, "Was revenge the motive behind Omaha stabbing deaths?," 2 June 2018

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

1789, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near sickening

sick call

sick day



sicken of


sick flag

Statistics for sickening

Last Updated

25 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sickening

The first known use of sickening was in 1789

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More Definitions for sickening



English Language Learners Definition of sickening

: causing you to feel sick

: causing a strong feeling of disgust

of a sound : causing great concern especially because someone or something may have been badly harmed


sick·​en·​ing | \ˈsi-kə-niŋ\

Kids Definition of sickening

: causing sickness or disgust a sickening smell

Other Words from sickening

sickeningly adverb


sick·​en·​ing | \ˈsik-(ə-)niŋ \

Medical Definition of sickening 

: causing sickness or nausea

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Comments on sickening

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a nest or breeding place

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