Definition of sickly in English:

sickly

Syllabification: sick·ly
Pronunciation: /ˈsiklē
 
/

adjective (sicklier, sickliest)

1Often ill; in poor health: she was a thin, sickly child
More 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.
Synonyms
unhealthy, in poor health, delicate, frail, weak
1.1(Of a person’s complexion or expression) indicative of poor health: his usual sickly pallor
More 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.
Synonyms
1.2 literary (Of a place, climate, or time) causing or characterized by unhealthiness: a deep sickly vaporous swamp
More 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 flavor, smell, color, or light) so unpleasant as to induce discomfort or nausea: the walls were painted a sickly green she liked her coffee sweet and sickly
More 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.
Synonyms
insipid, pale, light, light-colored, washed out, faded
2.1Excessively sentimental or mawkish: a sickly fable of delicate young lovers
More example sentences
  • 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.
Synonyms

Origin

late Middle English: probably suggested by Old Norse sjúkligr.

Derivatives

sickliness

noun
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.

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