- to cause pain, uneasiness, or trouble to.
- to be unwell; feel pain; be ill: He's been ailing for some time.
Origin of ail
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ailed
It would be impossible to cure all that ailed the GOP in the course of a single calendar year.GOP Report Turns One—Is it Worth Celebrating?
Kristen Soltis Anderson
March 18, 2014
All the knights gathered round him to ask what ailed the Duke.Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II
Charlotte Mary Yonge
Neither did he himself know what ailed him, any better than they did.The Paradise of Children
This gentleman said he never told a fellow what ailed him until he got his whack.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
The locksmith's wife knew better perhaps, than he, what ailed her daughter.Barnaby Rudge
But as I was a fixin' it on, I see there was something more than mortification that ailed him.The Universal Reciter
- (tr) to trouble; afflict
- (intr) to feel unwell
Word Origin and History for ailed
c.1300, from Old English eglan "to trouble, plague, afflict," from Proto-Germanic *azljaz (cf. Old English egle "hideous, loathsome, troublesome, painful;" Gothic agls "shameful, disgraceful," agliþa "distress, affliction, hardship," us-agljan "to oppress, afflict"), from PIE *agh-lo-, suffixed form of root *agh- "to be depressed, be afraid." Related: Ailed; ailing; ails.
It is remarkable, that this word is never used but with some indefinite term, or the word no thing; as What ails him? ... Thus we never say, a fever ails him. [Johnson]