There are 2 main definitions of sick in English:

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Line breaks: sick
Pronunciation: /sɪk


1Affected by physical or mental illness: nursing very sick children half my staff were off sick (as plural noun the sick) visiting the sick and the elderly
More example sentences
  • Several staff members were already off sick with the flu.
  • Fifteen to twenty percent of the elderly who are sick with pneumococci die from this infection, so it is well worth preventing.
  • The end results were anything but pleasant for Niko who spent a week after the incident in the hospital ward sick with fever and poison from snakes bite.
British off, off colour
informal under the weather, on the sick list
Australian/New Zealand informal crook
vulgar slang crappy
1.1Relating to those who are ill: the company organized a sick fund for its workers
More example sentences
  • Meanwhile, the Guild will be holding it's annual door to door collection in the parish next month to help fund the sending of sick parishioners on the Pilgrimage.
  • ‘The bargaining council is once again at risk of collapsing, which would mean no more provident or sick fund for workers,’ he said.
  • She didn't fall for any of those phony ‘help-the-homeless’ funds that the sick hedonists kept trying to sell to dupes.
1.2(Of an organization, system, or society) suffering from serious problems: the British economy remains sick
More example sentences
  • Whatever the continuing vitality to be found in the villages, the larger political and economic systems are sick.
  • The recent events are nothing but reflections of a sick society where rampant corruption, political vendetta and laxity in criminal justice are the order of the day.
  • We live in a really sad and sick society and obviously ~ no one cares.
2 [predicative] Feeling nauseous and wanting to vomit: he was starting to feel sick Mark felt sick with fear
More example sentences
  • On the morning of October 17, 1999, Wei sent his wife to Renji Hospital, when Zhou became extremely sick and started vomiting.
  • She ran to her bathroom and vomited, relieving the sick sensation a bit, but not entirely.
  • Recalling his first trip in the air, Tu said he felt very sick and even vomited.
seasick, carsick, airsick, travel-sick, suffering from motion sickness, suffering from altitude sickness, suffering from radiation sickness
informal about to throw up
North American informal barfy
rare qualmish
2.1 [attributive] (Of an emotion) so intense as to cause one to feel unwell or nauseous: he had a sick fear of returning
More example sentences
  • A sick thrill of excitement travelled through his body.
  • The sick feeling returned to him again and he knew it would be setting up shop for quite awhile now.
  • A scared face looked back at her, and a lonely and sick emotion filled the eyes of that face.
2.2 informal Disappointed, mortified, or miserable: he looked pretty sick at that, but he eventually agreed
More example sentences
  • But just doing the best we can and that the owners, of course, are sick about it.
  • There is something inherently sick about seeking to profit from deceit.
  • To be honest, I feel so sick about the whole thing that even the memory of the try I scored does nothing to relieve the gloom.
angry, cross, enraged, annoyed, disgusted, displeased, disgruntled, fed up, grumpy
British informal cheesed off
2.3 archaic Pining or longing for someone or something: he was sick for a sight of her
3 (sick of) Intensely annoyed with or bored by (someone or something) as a result of having had too much of them: I’m absolutely sick of your moods
fed up with, bored with/by, tired of, weary of, jaded with/by, surfeited with/by, satiated with, glutted with/by;
(be sick of)have had enough of
informal have had a basinful of, have had it up to here with
have had something up to here
4 informal (Especially of humour) having something unpleasant such as death or misfortune as its subject and dealing with it in an offensive way: this was someone’s idea of a sick joke
More example sentences
  • Laughing at his own sick humour, Suarez ascended to the second level of the house, more designed to live in than the level below.
  • We're also unmistakably in David Cronenberg territory here, but without the sick humour that usually goes with it.
  • The sick charm of Keller is that he really does seem like a normal everyday person.
macabre, black, ghoulish, morbid, perverted, gruesome, sadistic, cruel, offensive
4.1(Of a person) having abnormal or unnatural tendencies; perverted: he is a deeply sick man from whom society needs to be protected
More example sentences
  • But if you use that as an excuse to inflict pain on them, then you are sick and sadistic and motivated solely by bigotry.
  • They are sick and depraved and have convinced themselves they are right and the rest of us are wrong.
  • Apparently, there were some bogus calls that were made in to try and - you know, for whatever reason, some sick people would do that.
5 informal Excellent.


[mass noun] British informal Back to top  
Vomit: she was busy wiping sick from the carpet
More example sentences
  • So, while I cleaned cat sick off the carpet Paul headed off home to finish putting his kitchen back together now that the painting is finished.
  • The group are taken on a tour of Wimbledon tennis centre where they are made to wear all white and are force fed strawberries until they vomit red sick.
  • I arrived downstairs find to both cats outside and a pile of sick in the middle of the sitting room carpet.


[with object] (sick something up) British informal Back to top  
Bring something up by vomiting: he was passing blood and sicking it up [no object]: she sicked up all over the carpet


Old English sēoc 'affected by illness', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch ziek and German siech.


be sick

1Be ill.
Example sentences
  • Though always busy with his work, Michael never forgot to enquire for friends who were sick, lonely or fell on hard times.
  • ‘Standard patients’ have some medical knowledge, enabling them to imitate real patients and allow medical students to diagnose them as if they really were sick.
  • Five workers in the office of Deputy Chief Minister, the second highest ranking official in the state, were being treated with antibiotics, and that none were sick.
2British Vomit: the baby was sick all over my silk shirt
More example sentences
  • Her condition meant she never learnt to swallow or suck as a baby and would be sick as soon as she was fed.
  • I started to keep a diary which held all my feelings and also held a record of when I felt the need to be sick and if I was sick.
  • If the person has been sick, then bring a sample of the vomit too - medical staff can analyse the vomit for important information.
cough up, bring up, regurgitate;
heave, gag;
North American get sick
informal chunder, chuck up, hurl, spew, do the technicolor yawn, keck, ralph
British informal honk, sick up
Scottish informal boke
North American informal spit up, barf, upchuck, toss one's cookies, blow chunks

get sick

1Be ill.
Example sentences
  • We've breakfasted on Smarties at 5.30 am, lunched on chips and Coke at IIam and then, starved for ‘real’ food, gone out to a nearby farm to pick cherries until we all got sick.
  • My dad got sick very early, when I was a youngster, and I was very confused.
  • But eventually, people there got sick and died too.
2North American Vomit.

make someone sick

Cause someone to vomit or feel nauseous or unwell: sherry makes me sick and so do cigars
More example sentences
  • It wasn't that he was afraid of blood, on the contrary, but too much blood, exposed organs, and raw flesh with that nauseous stench could already make him sick.
  • The smell made Eric sick, increasing the urge to vomit up his unfinished meal.
3.1Cause someone to feel intense annoyance or disgust: you’re so damned self-righteous you make me sick!
More example sentences
  • This is disgusting, makes me sick to my stomach.
  • It was making her sick and disgusted just looking at them.
  • She bit her lip and clenched her fists tightly, trying to chase away the memories and the sensations that made her sick with shame and disgust.

—— oneself sick

Do something to such an extent that one feels nauseous or unwell (often used for emphasis): she was worrying herself sick about Mike
More example sentences
  • It's possible to make yourself sick, or at least slightly nauseous by overdoing it though.
  • Don't tell me ladies that you don't know someone who's gone bankrupt in the last year or so - I know you do - and you worry yourself sick about them.
  • Some women make themselves sick trying to be ‘ladylike’.

on the sick

British informal Receiving sickness benefit.
Example sentences
  • Whatever the circumstances, you can't condone working while you are supposed to be off on the sick.
  • It is almost as if they are making capital out of people being poorly - it is a tax on the sick.
  • He told me about 3 other patients of his who have this, 2 of them are working again (albeit only part time) after at least 2 years on the sick.

sick and tired of

informal Annoyed about or bored with (someone or something) and unwilling to put up with them any longer: I am sick and tired of all the criticism
More example sentences
  • I'm sick and tired of people constantly chipping away at our most sacred institution.
  • I got sick and tired of people arguing about which kind of bird was called what.
  • I am sick and tired of being told what might and what might not happen.

(as) sick as a dog

informal Extremely ill: you were as sick as a dog when you ate those shrimps
More example sentences
  • I have been sick as a dog - still have the bronchitis going, but the worst part is an unbelievably sore throat - so bad that I literally cannot swallow, talk, etc.
  • What amazed me was he was sick as a dog, but if a school was coming the next day, he'd put on his suit and get out there.
  • I've spent the last week trying to do as little as possible, because I've been sick as a dog.

(as) sick as a parrot

British informal Extremely disappointed: if I was to break my leg tomorrow I’d be as sick as a parrot
More example sentences
  • ‘I really am, as the old cliché goes, sick as a parrot because I really do think it was three points missed and at this stage of the season we need three points, nothing more, nothing less,’ he said.
  • It's a fair bet that the husband was sick as a parrot when he found out he had missed the first half of the season.
  • Dave, should have looked as sick as a parrot, but instead beamed a ghastly smile as he enthused about the prospect of Team GB entering a British Football Team into the 2012 Olympic Games.

the sick man of ——

A country that is politically or economically unsound, especially in comparison with its neighbours: the country had been the sick man of Europe for too long
[applied in the late 19th century to the Sultan of Turkey, later extended to Turkey and other countries]
More example sentences
  • Today, Europe again looks like the sick man of the global economy.
  • Many is the occasion that I have lauded the economy's transformation from the dire days of the 1970s, when Britain was the sick man of Europe.
  • If we are not careful, Britain will again be the sick man of Europe, and the progress of the last 20 years will be lost.

sick to death of

informal another way of saying sick and tired of above.

sick to one's stomach

Example sentences
  • My hands were wrapped around my stomach, for some reason I was sick to my stomach.
  • That feeling in her stomach was back and she felt weak and sick to her stomach.
  • Regular birth control pills make some women feel sick to their stomach.
11.1Disgusted: I felt sick to my stomach reading that filth
More example sentences
  • It was disgusting and I felt sick to my stomach but I heard a pair of voices coming from inside.
  • I felt sick to my stomach, I was trembling with disgust.
  • This disgusted her and made her sick to her stomach.



Example sentences
  • I have to now face the fact that I, who am rarely sick, have been sickish for a week now, mostly with coughing phlegmy runny nose-and-eyes ick.
  • Because of ionization, the choking air filled with a sickish sweet ‘electric smell.’
  • Rising gradually to her feet, those sickish green eyes met the Captain's level, immediately locking on to those specks of electric blue.

Definition of sick in:

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There are 2 main definitions of sick in English:

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Line breaks: sick
Pronunciation: /sɪk
(also sic)


[with object] (sick something on)
1Set a dog on: the plan was to surprise the heck out of the grizzly by sicking the dog on him
More example sentences
  • Sparrow was so offended, he recalled, that ‘I nearly sicked my dog on him,’ but his mother intervened, establishing a selling price that was ‘high enough, so I wasn't mad at her.’
  • Sure some of the people would run after us with their guns or throw rocks or sick their dogs on us but it was fun.
1.1 (sick someone on) informal Set someone to pursue, keep watch on, or accompany (another): who sicked those two on to us?
More example sentences
  • He looked back at the girl, ‘If you don't pay me the rest of the money for that drink I'll sick Jumper on you’.
  • She will learn her place even if we have to sick Longmeyer on her.
  • I swear if you say anything mean to him I'll beat you up… okay, so maybe it won't be me, per se, but I'll sick Danny on you.


mid 19th century: dialect variant of seek.

Definition of sick in:

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