sick·​ness | \ ˈsik-nəs How to pronounce sickness (audio) \

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 The question arises, though, how reliable body temperature is as an indicator of sickness. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 8 June 2021 And the shots alone won’t magic away the scars of damaged tissue or the numbing heft of depression brought on by months of sickness. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 25 Mar. 2021 The Jazz and Gobert have gone from the source of sickness, the center of COVID to a symbol of hope and healing. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 Mar. 2021 Practicality, after so many months of sickness, felt trivial and irrelevant in comparison to desire. Philippa Snow, Vogue, 21 Jan. 2021 Suddenly, he was hit with a second round of sickness. Morgan Romero, oregonlive, 24 Dec. 2020 After a season of sickness, God granted her eternal rest. Brooklyn White, Essence, 21 Dec. 2020 Most everyone took some type of sea sickness pills. Los Angeles Times, 3 June 2021 Patients and visitors in a hospital are often exposed to alarms, complicated medical equipment, blank walls, and worries about sickness or mortality. Laken Brooks, Forbes, 29 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for sickness

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sickness

Last Updated

19 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sickness.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce sickness (audio) \

Kids Definition of sickness

1 : ill health : illness
2 : a specific disease He came down with an unknown sickness.


sick·​ness | \ ˈsik-nəs How to pronounce sickness (audio) \

Medical Definition of sickness

1 : the condition of being ill : ill health
2 : a specific disease
3 : nausea


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