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 Unlike local health emergencies or natural disasters, the new coronavirus caused sickness and death around the globe, Wiehe said, which meant PPE was in unprecedented demand everywhere. Anne Saker, The Enquirer, "Coronavirus in Ohio: UC Health official says system paid $10M extra for PPE in the spring," 31 July 2020 The sickness started slowly, with Galka feeling ill at the end of June. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "He contracted COVID-19. Now this Fox 10 Phoenix reporter is back with a new perspective," 31 July 2020 Stay safe by remaining indoors, keeping hydrated, wearing lightweight clothing and knowing the symptoms of heat sickness. Virginia Langmaid And Judson Jones, CNN, "High temperatures will scorch much of the South this weekend," 11 July 2020 The criteria her hospital established for receiving such a precious drug are meant to direct it to those patients early enough in their sickness to benefit the most from an antiviral. Eric Boodman, STAT, "From Houston to Miami, hospitals running short of remdesivir for Covid-19 patients," 10 July 2020 Her sickness forced her to cancel part of her comedy tour in late February 2019. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "Amy Schumer wanted 'Expecting Amy' to be 'real as hell,' recalls 'parenting fail' of son's name," 10 July 2020 This led to a 44% reduction in sickness absence, from an average of 4.3 days per employee a year to 2.4 days. Shubham Singhal, Fortune, "Good health is good business. Here’s why.," 8 July 2020 Convulsed by sickness and wracked by a reckoning over race, America badly needed a pep talk on its birthday this weekend. Stephen Collinson With Caitlin Hu, CNN, "July Fourth has fallen on some dark moments in American history," 6 July 2020 For Meena, Mukul’s mother, the sickness included fever, cough, headache and body pain that lasted almost two weeks. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, "The 17-member family that lived together, ate together and got coronavirus together," 5 July 2020

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

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sickness.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for sickness


How to pronounce sickness (audio)

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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Comments on sickness

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