sick·​en·​ing | \ ˈsi-kə-niŋ How to pronounce sickening (audio) , 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 How to pronounce sickeningly (audio) , 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

There are a lot of looks, and a sickening amount of clothes, but little in the way of collections that stir the heart or challenge the eye. Maya Singer, Vogue, "The 2010s Will Be Remembered As the Decade of Leggings—And We’re OK With That," 18 July 2019 The sickening sludge isn’t just concentrated in the Gulf of Mexico., "‘All bets are off’: Toxic algae bloom shutters Mississippi beaches, causes worry in Alabama," 12 July 2019 How else to explain the sickening spectacle of 156 women in a Michigan courtroom this past week facing down an abuser everyone — even their own parents — believed instead of them. Washington Post, "Larry Nassar’s enablers? A nation that doubts and dismisses women.," 25 Jan. 2018 For the Angels, there was the sickening symmetry of a decade ago, when 22-year-old pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed by a drunk driver. Andy Mccullough,, "Angels’ Tyler Skaggs remembered for confidence, competitiveness and wit," 1 July 2019 These units are called radians (apologies if this term provokes a violent and sickening flashback to high school math), and there are 2π of them in a circle. Brian Resnick, Vox, "The math of pi explained, as simply as possible," 13 Mar. 2019 Terra left, badly shaken, with the sickening feeling that her mother was choosing John over her. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Complete Timeline of the Events of Dirty John," 14 Jan. 2019 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

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

22 Jul 2019

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 How to pronounce sickening (audio) \

Medical Definition of sickening

: causing sickness or nausea

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Comments on sickening

What made you want to look up sickening? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make or get by devious means

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