from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun That which conduces to ill or evil.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • More than a century ago, English economist John Ruskin observed that the same economic system that creates glittering wealth also spawns what he called illth — poverty, pollution, despair, illness.

    Capitalism 3.0~ Chapter 1 2007

  • Poverty, pollution, despair, and ill-health — what John Ruskin called illth — is the dark side of capitalism.

    Capitalism 3.0~ Chapter 1 2007

  • Chase argued that American abundance produced "illth," a term he had borrowed from the nineteenth-century British gothicist John Ruskin, who argued that capitalist wealth produced social and mental disorders.

    TELOSscope: The Telos Press blog 2009

  • Physical throughput growth is at the present margin and in the aggregate increasing illth faster than wealth, thus making us poorer rather than richer.

    Herman Daly Festschrift~ The world is in over-shoot and what to do about it 2009

  • Beyond some point growth in production and population will begin to increase social and environmental costs faster than it increases production benefits, thereby ushering in an era of uneconomic growth — growth that on balance makes us poorer rather than richer, that increases “illth” faster than it increases wealth.

    Herman Daly Festschrift~ The world is in over-shoot and what to do about it 2009

  • The correlation between throughput growth and GDP growth is sufficiently strong historically so that in the absence of countervailing policies even GDP growth frequently increases illth faster than wealth.

    Herman Daly Festschrift~ The world is in over-shoot and what to do about it 2009

  • More importantly, we begin to imagine a world in which nature and future generations are represented in real-time transactions, corporations internalize previously externalized costs, prices of illth-causing goods rise, and everyone receives some property income.

    Capitalism 3.0~ Chapter 6 2008

  • The price of pollution would go up; corporate illth creation would go down.

    Capitalism 3.0~ Chapter 6 2008

  • A research agenda that inherently recognizes this connection between northern ‘wealth’ and southern ‘illth’ [what John Ruskin referred to as the opposite of wealth] will go a long way towards equitable and sustainable development.

    Ecosystems, poverty, and the consumption elephant 2007

  • Hence the system generates ever more illth, waste, and ever-widening disparities between rich and poor.

    Capitalism 3.0~ Chapter 1 2007


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  • Used by John Ruskin — "As mere accidental stays and impediments acting not as wealth, but (for we ought to have a correspondent term) as 'illth' " — and later, such as in George Bernard Shaw's Fabian essays in Socialism, as the reverse of wealth in the sense of "well-being": ill-being.

    August 6, 2008