adjective (sicklier, sickliest)
- 1Often ill; in poor health: she was a thin, sickly childMore example sentences
- The predator weeds out the weak and the sickly (those incapable of participation).
- In history books, one can find descriptions of this Bulgarian king as ‘weak, sickly, meek and a poor statesman’.
- King was a sickly child, once bedridden for a year, and at the age of four he one day returned home silently after playing with a friend and crawled into bed.
- 1.1(Of a person’s complexion or expression) indicative of poor health: his usual sickly pallorMore example sentences
- If there was anything to be salvaged from the situation, it might've been said to have been worth it for the sickly expression on Rupert's face.
- Not only that, but his formerly vibrant face was now marred by a sickly pallor and shadows under his eyes.
- Her sun baked skin had deteriorated to a grey, sickly pallor and her eyes had lost its bright sparkle.
- 1.2 • literary (Of a place or climate) causing or characterized by unhealthiness: a sickly vaporous swampMore example sentences
- The only sort of eye to be found in Dunham's paintings puts in an appearance in Beautiful Dirt Valley: the disembodied eye of heaven hovering in a sickly sky.
- Aaron went back to his sickly field and farmhouse.
- The yellow street lights caused the world to glow sickly as he moved through the downtown South District.
- 2(Of a flavour, smell, colour, etc.) unpleasant in a way that induces discomfort or nausea: the walls were painted a sickly green she liked her coffee sweet and sicklyMore example sentences
- The walls were the same sickly colour, the smell was the same of dense human aromas, and my feelings of determination and acceptance were one and the same.
- I entered the school and was met by the sweet, sickly smell of flowers and the dead.
- The atmosphere seemed stifling, the sweet, sickly smell in the air was unbearable.
- 2.1Excessively sentimental or mawkish: a sickly fable of delicate young loversMore example sentences
sentimental, over-sentimental, overemotional, mawkish, cloying, sugary, syrupy, saccharine, sickening, nauseating, maudlin, lachrymose, banal, trite; British twee• informal mushy, slushy, sloppy, schmaltzy, weepy, cutesy, lovey-dovey, gooey, drippy, sloshy, soupy, treacly, cheesy, corny, icky, sick-making, toe-curlingBritish • informal soppy
- Your Silent Nights and Joy to the Worlds manage to be special and festive without first being coated with a cubic kilometre of sickly sentimentality.
- Those with an aversion to sickly sentiment should look away now.
- It displays the essence of Chopin's music that surely Fokine desired and rescues it from the sickly sentiment and yards of tulle that Les Sylphides usually heralds.
- More example sentences
- What is inherited is not the sickness but sickliness: the lack of strength to resist the danger of infections, etc., the broken resistance; morally speaking, resignation and meekness in face of the enemy.
- Loving my children seemed to solve any problem they had - even discovering Kyle had cystic fibrosis at the age of seven - this was the reason for his low weight and sickliness as a baby.
- It was well worth venturing out in spite of my lingering sickliness.
late Middle English: probably suggested by Old Norse sjúkligr.