sick·ness | \ˈsik-nəs \

Definition of sickness 

1a : ill health : illness

b : a disordered, weakened, or unsound condition

2 : a specific disease

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Examples of sickness in a Sentence

He died from an unknown sickness. she was plagued by sickness most of her adult life

Recent Examples on the Web

That sickness of soul calls for the balm that Mahalia Jackson sang about, and so many others before her. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "What two fictional Gileads can teach us about America in 2018," 12 July 2018 It was triggered by the sickness, we are told by the doctor, and Delilah will always have anxiety. Jillian Ruffo,, "Lisa Rinna, 54, and Model Daughter Delilah Belle Hamlin, 20, Flaunt Their Bikini Bodies," 22 June 2018 Countless cartoons depicted sea-sickness and geysers shooting from the bed. Dylan Jackson, miamiherald, "The waterbed is making a comeback. No, really.," 7 June 2018 All this contraindicates the democracy movement’s prescription: If our republic’s true sickness is its inegalitarian economic system, then that illness won’t be cured by cross-ideological coalitions. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "America’s Version of Capitalism Is Incompatible With Democracy," 23 May 2018 Because of the lag between when a sickness occurs and the report reaches the CDC, the case count may continue to grow. Marie Mccullough,, "Source of tainted lettuce still mystery as Pa. leads biggest E. coli outbreak since 2006," 27 Apr. 2018 The sickness seems to wake them from their winter slumber earlier, depleting critical fat reserves and causing dehydration. Justin Wm. Moyer, Washington Post, "A mysterious disease is killing millions of bats. These scientists are trying to save them.," 12 July 2018 Gawande’s New Yorker piece, which examined why health care was so much more expensive in some parts of the U.S. than others, despite little difference in the quality of care or the sickness of people getting it. Casey Ross, STAT, "As Atul Gawande steps into a risky health CEO role, here are five challenges he faces," 9 July 2018 In an article in The Journal of the American Medical Association, brain researchers at the University of Pennsylvania described the sickness as a new neurological syndrome. New York Times, "China Pledges to Investigate Fears of Sonic Attacks on U.S. Diplomats," 7 June 2018

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Phrases Related to sickness

sickness benefit

travel sickness

Statistics for sickness

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sickness

The first known use of sickness was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for sickness



English Language Learners Definition of sickness

: unhealthy condition of body or mind : the state of being sick

: a specific type of disease or illness

: the feeling you have in your stomach when you think you are going to vomit


sick·ness | \ˈsik-nəs \

Kids Definition of sickness

1 : ill health : illness

2 : a specific disease He came down with an unknown sickness.


sick·ness | \ˈsik-nəs \

Medical Definition of sickness 

1 : the condition of being ill : ill health

2 : a specific disease

3 : nausea

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Comments on sickness

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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