from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A small pellet or tablet of medicine, often coated, taken by swallowing whole or by chewing.
  • noun Informal An oral contraceptive. Used with the.
  • noun Slang Something, such as a baseball, that resembles a pellet of medicine.
  • noun Something both distasteful and necessary.
  • noun Slang An insipid or ill-natured person.
  • intransitive verb To dose with pills.
  • intransitive verb To make into pills.
  • intransitive verb Slang To blackball.
  • intransitive verb To form small balls resembling pills.
  • intransitive verb To come off, as in flakes or scales.
  • intransitive verb To subject to extortion.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To rob; plunder; pillage.
  • To rob; practise robbery; plunder.
  • To deprive of hair; make bald. Compare pilled.
  • To peel; strip; form by stripping off the skin or bark.
  • To peel; come off in flakes.
  • noun Peel; skin; rind; outer covering.
  • noun The refuse of a hawk's prey.
  • noun A small creek; one of the channels through which the drainings of a marsh enter a river.
  • To form into pills.
  • To dose with pills.
  • To reject by vote; blackball.
  • noun A globular or ovoid mass of medicinal substance, of a size convenient for swallowing.
  • noun Hence Something unpleasant that has to be accepted or (metaphorically) swallowed: usually qualified by bitter.
  • noun A disagreeable or objectionable person.
  • noun plural A doctor or surgeon.
  • noun In varnish-making, the cooked mass of linseed-oil and gum before turpentine is added to thin it down and complete the varnish.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To be peeled; to peel off in flakes.
  • transitive verb obsolete To deprive of hair; to make bald.
  • transitive verb To peel; to make by removing the skin.
  • noun obsolete The peel or skin.
  • noun A medicine in the form of a little ball, or small round mass, to be swallowed whole.
  • noun Figuratively, something offensive or nauseous which must be accepted or endured.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any small beetle of the genus Byrrhus, having a rounded body, with the head concealed beneath the thorax.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any terrestrial isopod of the genus Armadillo, having the habit of rolling itself into a ball when disturbed. Called also pill wood louse.
  • verb obsolete To rob; to plunder; to pillage; to peel. See peel, to plunder.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb obsolete To peel; to remove the outer layer of hair, skin, or bark.
  • verb obsolete To pillage; to despoil or impoverish.
  • noun An inlet on the coast; a small tidal pool or bay.
  • noun A small, usually cylindrical object designed for easy swallowing, usually containing some sort of medication.
  • noun informal Contraceptive medication, usually in the form of a pill.
  • noun slang A comical or entertaining person.
  • noun slang A contemptible, annoying, or unpleasant person.
  • noun informal A small piece of any substance, for example a ball of fibres formed on the surface of a textile by rubbing.
  • noun archaic A baseball.
  • noun firearms (informal) a bullet (projectile)
  • verb intransitive, textiles Of a woven fabric surface, to form small matted balls of fiber.
  • verb To form into the shape of a pill.
  • verb To medicate with pills.

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

  • noun something that resembles a tablet of medicine in shape or size


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

[Middle English pille, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German pille and Old French pile, all from Latin pilula, diminutive of pila, ball.]

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

[Middle English pillen, to plunder, peel, from Old English pilian; see peel and from Old French piller, to plunder; see pillage.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English *pill, *pyll, from Old English pyll ("a pool, pill"), from Proto-Germanic *pullijaz (“small pool, ditch, creek”), diminutive of Proto-Germanic *pullaz (“pool, stream”), from Proto-Indo-European *bale- (“bog, marsh”). Cognate with Old English pull ("pool, creek"), Scots poll ("slow moving stream, creek, inlet"), Icelandic pollur ("pond, pool, puddle"). More at pool.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle Low German or Middle Dutch pille (whence Dutch pil), probably from Latin pilula.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin pilō ("depilate"), from pilus ("hair").


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  • Also Randy Alcorn, a well-known pro-life apologist and Protestant pastor, published a booklet in 1998 in which he gave the reasons for why the pill is an abortifacient and he has actually counselled couples in his ministry against using the pill for that reason.

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  • If you are like me missing a pill is a dramatic event just because you missed it.

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  • However, down here, when I get a pill at double strength the price of the pill is usually almost doubled, therefore diminishing the benefits thereof.

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  • The primary mode of contraception with the pill is to suppress ovulation, thereby preventing conception.

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  • When the pill is used, if there is any ovulation, it renders the egg unable to attach to the uterine wall - some of the same hormones come into play, but the major pregnancy hormone, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) does not appear until implantation and fertilization begin.

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  • Best I've heard (range talk) is 2900+ approaching 3000 with 153 grain pill, .. (which is cooking right along) ansd just over 2600 with 195 grain.

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  • Never patented, it was sometimes given as an injection, but primarily it was prescribed in pill form and was sometimes even included in prescription prenatal vitamins.

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  • The glass of water on his endtable, with the orange vitamin pill next to it, on that month's issue of Coin & Currency Collecting.

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  • Some say that doctors are too willing to prescribe these drugs to people who might be better helped by psychological therapies or by changing their life circumstances, but people who feel they benefit from the medicines sometimes see such sentiments as “pill shaming”.

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  • also v.t. (dial. and obs.) peel.

    then take 3 hazel stickes or wands of a year groth, pill them fair and white

    —Bodleian MS Ashmole 1406, quoted in Diane Purkiss, 2000, Troublesome Things

    July 21, 2008