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)

Example Sentences

a sickening display of selfishness We heard the squeal of brakes and a sickening thud.
Recent Examples on the Web But the Chinese people know they are not allowed to hold anyone in Beijing accountable for this virus, or for the sickening pollution of their air and water. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, 29 Jan. 2020 The documentary, understandably, carries with it a disclaimer regarding the upsetting nature of the sickening details surrounding Gabriel's abuse. Brian Lowry, CNN, 26 Feb. 2020 If possible, the deadening thud from this pitch — which nobody believed was in any way intentional — was even more sickening. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 8 Mar. 2020 But with a new promo showing Ru in full regalia, fans are now wondering if the star might give us some sickening looks on Saturday. Stephen Daw, Billboard, 7 Feb. 2020 The early game atmosphere of euphoria surrounding Porzingis’ return suddenly, with 2:53 left in the first quarter, gave way to the sickening sight of Powell collapsing in agony and pounding his left fist on the American Airlines Center court. Dallas News, 22 Jan. 2020 While showing the students how to separate the moose’s hoof from the rest of its leg, Mason warned there would be a somewhat sickening sound -- then demonstrated that sound by snapping the hoof off with a loud crack. Matt Tunseth, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Dec. 2019 Aung San Suu Kyi - through choosing to come here to The Hague to defend Myanmar - is now having to listen to sickening allegations of mass murder and gang rape of the Rohingya people. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 13 Dec. 2019 Mitch Albom: Michigan's sickening reality: Ohio State is just better The honeymoon and rebuild are over; after the bowl game, the roster will be entirely filled with players that Harbaugh recruited to Michigan. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, 3 Dec. 2019 See More

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.

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 1 Dec. 2022.

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

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