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

  • adjective Suffering from or affected with a physical illness; ailing.
  • adjective Of or for sick persons.
  • adjective Nauseated.
  • adjective Mentally ill or disturbed.
  • adjective Unwholesome, morbid, or sadistic.
  • adjective Defective; unsound.
  • adjective Deeply distressed; upset.
  • adjective Disgusted; revolted.
  • adjective Weary; tired.
  • adjective Pining; longing.
  • adjective In need of repairs.
  • adjective Constituting an unhealthy environment for those working or residing within.
  • adjective Unable to produce a profitable yield of crops.
  • adjective Slang Excellent; outstanding.
  • noun Sick people considered as a group. Often used with the.
  • noun Chiefly British Vomit.
  • idiom (sick and tired) Thoroughly weary, discouraged, or bored.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To grow sick; become sick or ill.
  • To make sick; sicken.
  • To seek; chase; set upon: used in the imperative in inciting a dog to chase or attack a person or an animal: often with prolonged sibilation: as, sick or s-s-sick 'im, Bose!
  • Hence To cause to seek or pursue; incite to make an attack; set on by the exclamation “Sick!” as, to sick a dog at a tramp; I'll sick the constable on you.
  • Having floured: said of mercury.
  • Affected with or suffering from physical disorder; more or less disabled by disease or bad health; seriously indisposed; ill: as, to fall sick; to be sick of a fever; a very sick man.
  • In a restricted sense, affected with nausea; qualmish; inclined to vomit, or actually vomiting; attended with or tending to cause vomiting: as, sick at the stomach.
  • Figuratively Seriously disordered, infirm, or unsound from any cause; perturbed; distempered; enfeebled: used of mental and emotional conditions, and technically of states of some material things, especially of mercury in relation to amalgamation: as, to be sick at heart; a sick-looking vehicle.
  • In a depressed state of mind for want of something; pining; longing; languishing; with for: as, to be sick for old scenes or friends. Compare homesick.
  • Disgusted from satiety; having a sickening surfeit: with of: as, to be sick of flattery or of drudgery.
  • As a specific euphemism, confined in childbed; parturient.
  • Tending to make one sick, in any sense.
  • Indicating, manifesting, or expressive of sickness, in any sense; indicating a disordered state; sickly: as, a sick look.
  • Spawning, or in the milk, as an oyster; poor and watery, as oysters after spawning.
  • Nautical, out of repair; unfit for service: said of ships or boats. Sometimes used in compounds, denoting the kind of repairs needed: as, iron sick, nail -sick, paint -sick.
  • Synonyms Sick. Ill, Ailing, Unwell, Diseased, Morbid, Sickly. Sick and ill are general words for being positively out of a healthy state, as ailing and unwell are in some sense negative and therefore weaker words for the same thing. There has been some tendency in England to confine sick to the distinctive sense of ‘nauseated,’ but in America the word has continued to have its original breadth of meaning, as found in the Bible and in Shakspere. Diseased follows the tendency of disease to be specific, as in diseased lungs, or a diseased leg—that is, lungs or a leg affected by a certain disease; but the word may be used in a general way. Morbid is a more technical or professional term, indicating that which is not healthy or does not act in a healthy way; the word is also the one most freely used in figurative senses: as, morbid sensitiveness, self-consciousness, or irritability. Sick and ill apply to a state presumably temporary, however severe; sickly indicates a state not quite equal to sickness, but more permanent, because of an underlying lack of constitutional vigor. See illness, debility, disease.

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

  • adjective Affected with disease of any kind; ill; indisposed; not in health. See the Synonym under illness.
  • adjective Affected with, or attended by, nausea; inclined to vomit
  • adjective Having a strong dislike; disgusted; surfeited; -- with of.
  • adjective Corrupted; imperfect; impaired; weakned.
  • adjective (Naut.) an apartment in a vessel, used as the ship's hospital.
  • adjective the bed upon which a person lies sick.
  • adjective an apartment for the sick in a ship of war.
  • adjective (Med.) a variety of headache attended with disorder of the stomach and nausea.
  • adjective a list containing the names of the sick.
  • adjective a room in which a person lies sick, or to which he is confined by sickness.
  • noun obsolete Sickness.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To fall sick; to sicken.


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

[Middle English, from Old English sēoc.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English sek, sik, from Old English sēoc, from Proto-Germanic *seukaz (confer West Frisian siik, Dutch ziek, German siech), from Proto-Indo-European *seug- (“to be troubled or grieved”) (confer Middle Irish socht ("silence, depression"), Old Armenian հիւծանիմ (hiwcanim, "I am weakening")).



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  • Sick can also be used to denote something especially desirable; "I just won $1,000 in the lottery. Pretty sick, isn't it?

    June 9, 2009