Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To feel ill or have pain.
  • transitive v. To cause physical or mental pain or uneasiness to; trouble. See Synonyms at trouble.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Painful; troublesome.
  • v. To cause to suffer; to trouble, afflict. (Now chiefly in interrogative or indefinite constructions.)
  • v. To be ill; to suffer; to be troubled.
  • n. An ailment; trouble; illness.
  • n. The awn of barley or other types of corn.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Indisposition or morbid affection.
  • intransitive v. To be affected with pain or uneasiness of any sort; to be ill or indisposed or in trouble.
  • transitive v. To affect with pain or uneasiness, either physical or mental; to trouble; to be the matter with; -- used to express some uneasiness or affection, whose cause is unknown.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Painful; troublesome.
  • To affect with pain or uneasiness, either of body or of mind; trouble: used in relation to some uneasiness or affection whose cause is unknown: as, what ails the man?
  • To feel pain; be ill (usually in a slight degree); be unwell: now used chiefly in the present participle: as, he is ailing to-day.
  • n. Indisposition or morbid affection; ailment.
  • n. The beard of wheat, barley, etc., especially of barley: chiefly in the plural.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cause bodily suffering to and make sick or indisposed
  • n. aromatic bulb used as seasoning
  • v. be ill or unwell

Etymologies

Middle English eilen, from Old English eglian, from egle, troublesome.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English eyle, eile, from Old English eġle ("hideous, loathsome, hateful, horrid, troublesome, grievous, painful"), from Proto-Germanic *agluz (“cumbersome, tedious, burdensome, tiresome”), from Proto-Indo-European *agʰlo-, *agʰ- (“offensive, disgusting, repulsive, hateful”). Cognate with Gothic  (aglus, "hard, difficult"). (Wiktionary)
From Old English eġlan, eġlian ("to trouble, afflict"), cognate with Gothic 𐌰𐌲𐌻𐌾𐌰𐌽 (agljan, "to distress"). (Wiktionary)
From Old English eġl. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Delia sailed as a sad Elias ailed.

    October 18, 2008