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sick definition


This page has 13 definitions of sick in English. Sick is an adjective, noun and verb. Examples of how to use sick in a sentence are shown. Also define these 27 related words and terms: ill, well, poorly, sickly, unwell, fit, healthy, nauseated, disturbed, twisted, warped, tired, annoyed, badass, rad, wicked, crap, naff, uncool, agriculture, harvest, crop, vomit, on the sick, on long-term sick, sicken, and sic.

See also: Sick



Etymology 1

From Middle English sik, sike, seek, seke, seok, from Old English sēoc (sick, ill), from Proto-West Germanic *seuk, from Proto-Germanic *seukaz (compare West Frisian siik, Dutch ziek, German siech, Norwegian Bokmål syk, Norwegian Nynorsk sjuk), from Proto-Indo-European *sewg- (to be troubled or grieved); compare Middle Irish socht (silence, depression), Old Armenian հիւծանիմ (hiwcanim, I am weakening).


sick (comparative sicker, superlative sickest)

  1. (more common in the US) In poor health; ill.
    • a1420, The British Museum Additional MS, 12,056, “Wounds complicated by the Dislocation of a Bone”, in Robert von Fleischhacker, editor, Lanfranc's "Science of cirurgie."[1], London: K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co, translation of original by Lanfranc of Milan, published 1894, →ISBN, page 63:
      Ne take noon hede to brynge togidere þe parties of þe boon þat is to-broken or dislocate, til viij. daies ben goon in þe wyntir, & v. in þe somer; for þanne it schal make quytture, and be sikir from swellynge; & þanne brynge togidere þe brynkis eiþer þe disiuncture after þe techynge þat schal be seid in þe chapitle of algebra.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 7, in The China Governess[2]:
      ‘Children crawled over each other like little grey worms in the gutters,’ he said. ‘The only red things about them were their buttocks and they were raw. Their faces looked as if snails had slimed on them and their mothers were like great sick beasts whose byres had never been cleared. […]’
    She was sick all day with the flu.
    We have to care for the sick.
    Synonyms: ill, not well, poorly, sickly, unwell
    Antonyms: fit, healthy, well
    • Poorly definition
      In a poor manner or condition; without plenty, or sufficiency, or suitable provision for comfort. (1 of 5 poorly definitions)
  2. Having an urge to vomit.
    Synonym: nauseated
    • 1913, The Texas criminal reports, page 8:
      In the meantime the old man had gotten up and gone out in the yard and began to vomit. Henry said I believe I feel sick and got up and went out. He went out one door and his father went out the other one. I did not think there was anything wrong with the coffee and I asked my wife to pour this out []
    • 1918, Cecil Day Lewis, The Whispering Roots, Jonathan Cape, page 140:
      Q. Didn't he complain he was sick before he commenced to vomit?
      A. He did, just before he said, to me, “I feel sick,” I asked him if he wanted to throw up and he said yes.
    • 1958, Gene D'Olive, Chiara, Signet Book
      [] trying hard to cry. Crying's good. Crying teaches him to breathe. But I wish he weren't crying from hunger. I feel dizzy. I sit down and feel a little sick. Maybe I'll vomit, too. No, I never vomit. I feel sick, but I won't vomit. I never vomit.
    • 2013, Cheryl Rainfield, Stained, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (→ISBN), page 38:
      I feel sick, like I might vomit, and I'm more tired than I can ever remember feeling.
    • Nauseated definition
      Having a feeling of nausea.
  3. (colloquial) Mentally unstable, disturbed.
    Synonyms: disturbed, twisted, warped
    • Twisted definition
      simple past tense and past participle of twist
  4. (colloquial) In bad taste.
    That's a sick joke.
  5. Tired of or annoyed by something.
    I've heard that song on the radio so many times that I'm starting to get sick of it.
    • Tired definition
      simple past tense and past participle of tire
    • Annoyed definition
      simple past tense and past participle of annoy
  6. (slang) Very good, excellent, awesome, badass.
    This tune is sick.
    Dude, this car's got a sick subwoofer!
    Synonyms: rad, wicked
    Antonyms: crap, naff, uncool
  7. In poor condition.
    sick building syndrome; my car is looking pretty sick; my job prospects are pretty sick
  8. (agriculture) Failing to sustain adequate harvests of crop, usually specified.
Derived terms


sick (uncountable)

  1. (Britain, Australia, colloquial) Vomit.
    He lay there in a pool of his own sick.
    • 2010, McSween et al., Things Bogans Like, Sydney: Hachette, page 80:
      The bogan, true to form, laps it up like a dog does its own sick.
  2. (Britain, colloquial) (especially in the phrases on the sick and on long-term sick) Any of various current or former benefits or allowances paid by the Government to support the sick, disabled or incapacitated
    • On The Sick definition
      In receipt of any of various current or former sickness, disability or incapacity benefits
    • On Long-Term Sick definition
      In receipt of benefits or allowances for sickness, disability or incapacity for a long period of time, see on the sick


sick (third-person singular simple present sicks, present participle sicking, simple past and past participle sicked)

  1. (colloquial) To vomit.
    I woke up at 4 am and sicked on the floor.
  2. (obsolete, intransitive) To fall sick; to sicken.
    • circa 1598, William Shakespeare, King Henry IV, part 2:
      Our great-grandsire, Edward, sick'd and died.

Etymology 2

Variant of sic, itself an alteration of seek.


sick (third-person singular simple present sicks, present participle sicking, simple past and past participle sicked)

  1. (rare) Alternative spelling of sic
    • 1920, James Oliver Curwood, "Back to God's Country"
      "Wapi," she almost screamed, "go back! Sick 'em, Wapi—sick 'em—sick 'em—sick 'em!"
    • 1938, Eugene Gay-Tifft, translator, The Saga of Frank Dover by Johannes Buchholtz, 2005 Kessinger Publishing edition, →ISBN, page 125,
      When we were at work swabbing the deck, necessarily barelegged, Pelle would sick the dog on us; and it was an endless source of pleasure to him when the dog succeeded in fastening its teeth in our legs and making the blood run down our ankles.
    • 1957, J. D. Salinger, "Zooey", in, 1961, Franny and Zooey, 1991 LB Books edition, page 154,
      "...is just something God sicks on people who have the gall to accuse Him of having created an ugly world."
    • 2001 (publication date), Anna Heilman, Never Far Away: The Auschwitz Chronicles of Anna Heilman, University of Calgary Press, →ISBN, page 82,
      Now they find a new entertainment: they sick the dog on us.
    • Sic definition
      Thus; thus written; used to indicate, for example, that text is being quoted as it is from the source.