sick·​en·​ing ˈsi-kə-niŋ How to pronounce sickening (audio)
: causing sickness or disgust
a sickening odor
a sickening display
ˈsi-kə-niŋ-lē How to pronounce sickening (audio)

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 Supporting a terrorist organization that aims to kill Jews is sickening and despicable. Fox News, 22 Apr. 2024 Combs has denied all of the allegations, calling them sickening. Kalhan Rosenblatt, NBC News, 15 Apr. 2024 Preliminary genetic analysis of the strains collected from cattle has not yet found any telltale mutations that would make the virus clearly more capable of easily infecting or sickening mammals—humans included. Ed Cara / Gizmodo, Quartz, 2 Apr. 2024 These are sickening data and indeed suggest that the school workplace is making teachers sick. Brandon Busteed, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 The East Coast and Great Lakes regions got a taste of that future last summer, when wildfire smoke blown over from Canada’s record burns turned the sky in some places a sickening orange. Zoë Schlanger, The Atlantic, 21 Feb. 2024 As a massive underground garbage fire continues to spread sickening odors and noxious fumes over Castaic area neighborhoods, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger has called on Chiquita Canyon Landfill owners to relocate affected residents until the issue is resolved. Tony Briscoe, Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2024 My buddy Jon got a bite, set the hook and immediately heard a sickening SNAP! Jordan Rodriguez, Idaho Statesman, 26 Jan. 2024 Everyone in the Rose Bowl felt the sickening churn in the depths of our guts. Tyler R. Tynes, Los Angeles Times, 2 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sickening.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1789, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sickening was in 1789

Dictionary Entries Near sickening

Cite this Entry

“Sickening.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: causing sickness or disgust
a sickening sight
sickeningly adverb

Medical Definition


sick·​en·​ing ˈsik-(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce sickening (audio)
: causing sickness or nausea

More from Merriam-Webster on sickening

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!