- 1Suffering from an illness or disease or feeling unwell: he was taken ill with food poisoning [with submodifier]: a terminally ill patient (as plural noun the ill) a day centre for the mentally illMore example sentences
unwell, sick, not (very) well, ailing, poorly, sickly, peaky, afflicted, indisposed, infirm, liverish; out of sorts, not oneself, not in good shape, not up to par, under/below par, bad, in a bad way; bedridden, invalided, on the sick list, valetudinarian; queasy, nauseous, nauseated; weak, feeble, frail; diseased, infected; British off colour• informal under the weather, not up to snuff, laid up, dicky, funny, peculiar, iffy, crummy, lousy, rough, groggy, green about the gills, at death's door, like death warmed upBritish • informal ropy, grottyScottish • informal wabbitAustralian/New Zealand • informal crook• vulgar slang crappy• dated queer, seedy
- Leaders of our medical organisations should not allow informed consent to interfere with clinical management of infectious disease or seriously ill patients.
- Two other patients are critically ill after contracting the disease through infected organs from the donor.
- Siti said that volunteers should also understand that terminally ill patients usually suffer from psychological strain due to their illness.
- 2 [attributive] Poor in quality: ill judgement dogs the unsuccessful
- 2.1Bad or harmful: she had a cup of the same wine and suffered no ill effectsMore example sentences
- However, the average life of an Indian was 62 as the ill effects of cancer were visible only at a later stage in life.
- I have always known the ill effects of smoking but did not know how harmful it could be.
- By far the most serious ill effect of the sun is skin cancer.
- 2.2Not favourable or auspicious: I have had a run of ill luck a bird of ill omenMore example sentences
- As explained elsewhere, the trip to Brisbane, or more precisely the trip back, was a journey of ill omen for young Les as it threw him into the close company of Tim O'Sullivan.
- To cap Flanagan's misfortune, he punctured with 15 miles to go and there was an immediate charge from the front of his bunch, capitalising on his ill luck.
- During that journey, we once again encounter an ill omen in nature: in this instance, a turtle trapped on its back beneath a big rock.
adverbBack to top
- 1 [usually in combination] Badly, wrongly, or imperfectly: the street is dominated by ill-lit shops it ill becomes one so beautiful to be gloomyMore example sentences
- The Bosnian government was ill prepared to defend the country with no army and only a poorly equipped territorial defense force.
- I must be that inexplicably angry, obtuse, ill mannered, audacious, pompous blow-hard that writes insulting letters to The Peak!
- The big worry is that the cash-strapped Irish health service is ill equipped to deal with an epidemic of any form, least of all a potentially fatal virus like SARS.
- 1.1Unfavourably or inauspiciously: a look on her face which boded ill for anyone who crossed her path
- 2Only with difficulty; hardly: she could ill afford the cost of new curtainsMore example sentences
- This loss of time could be ill afforded at a time when the technical preparations for Mike were at a critical stage.
- He stressed that some of the goods produced locally lacked quality and were produced at a comparatively higher cost making such goods ill equipped to compete on the regional market.
- Culpeper's deepest desire was to make herbal medicine available to everyone, especially the poor who could ill afford to visit a physician.
noun(usually ills) Back to top
- 1A problem or misfortune: a lengthy work on the ills of societyMore example sentences
problems, troubles, difficulties, misfortunes, strains, trials, tribulations, trials and tribulations, worries, anxieties, concerns; pain, suffering, hardship, misery, woe, affliction, distress, disquiet, malaise• archaic travailsillnesses, ill/poor health; ailments, disorders, complaints, afflictions, sicknesses, diseases, maladies, infirmities, indispositions; infections, contagions
- As tempting as it is to demonise computer games for society's ills, the evidence does not suggest such a simple link.
- Of all the social ills and problems plaguing Bihar, sati was never on the list.
- Both of them believe that society's ills can be fixed by putting the right man at the top to make laws and crack down on the wrong people.
- 1.1 [mass noun] Evil or harm: how could I wish him ill?More example sentences
- I want to state that I do not wish ill upon any person, and this is in fact another part of the problem.
- I don't want to speak for anyone else, but people here generally are Democrats and wish political ill on the Republicans.
- I wish her no ill at this stage in the competition.
ill at ease
- Uncomfortable or embarrassed.More example sentences
awkward, uneasy, uncomfortable, self-conscious, out of place, unnatural, inhibited, gauche, strained; embarrassed, shy, bashful, blushing, retiring, shrinking; unsure, uncertain, unsettled, hesitant, faltering; restless, restive, fidgety, unrelaxed, disquieted, disturbed, discomfited, troubled, worried, anxious, on edge, edgy, nervous, tense, on tenterhooks; apprehensive, distrustful; British nervyNorth American • informal antsy• rare unquiet
- Why did he seem so ill at ease, so uncomfortable with the role he had to play?
- She had become very uncomfortable and ill at ease when visiting her parents and suffered chronic tension.
- It made him uncomfortable and ill at ease, and he felt she was trying to keep him there in the pilothouse.
speak (or think) ill of
- Say (or think) something critical about (someone).More example sentences
denigrate, disparage, cast aspersions on, criticize, be critical of, speak badly of, speak of with disfavour, be unkind about, be malicious about, be spiteful towards, blacken the name of, blacken the character of, besmirch, run down, insult, abuse, attack, slight, revile, malign, vilify; North American slur• informal bad-mouth, slate, bitch about, do a hatchet job on, pull to pieces, sling mud at, throw mud at, drag (someone's name) through the mud
- He was a handsome man, too handsome to be thought ill of by anyone, his aloof attitude did only add attractions to his charm.
- Brown is unusual in contemporary poetry for her willingness to be thought ill of.
- Unless one thinks ill of the woman he married, one can hardly regard this as ‘earned.’
Middle English (in the senses 'wicked', 'malevolent', 'harmful', and 'difficult'): from Old Norse illr 'evil, difficult', of unknown origin.