- sickly; unwell.
- unsound or troubled: a financially ailing corporation.
Origin of ailing
- 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 for ail on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ailing
He was, however, also caught up in the tumult of his ailing marriage to Ava Gardner.The Week in Death: George Jacobs, Sinatra’s Domestic Confidant
February 23, 2014
He was wonderful, with Laura Linney, as a burdened brother and sister looking after an ailing parent in The Savages (2007).Philip Seymour Hoffman: An Actor First
February 2, 2014
So perhaps it is time to ask—what other part of the body politic might be ailing?The Pain Is Not the Problem: How to Fix America’s Health-Care Crisis
Elizabeth Bradley and Lauren Taylor, Elizabeth Bradley, Lauren Taylor
November 29, 2013
Only many years later does his full story emerge, when the narrator returns from Paris to visit her ailing uncle.This Week’s Hot Reads: October 28, 2013
October 28, 2013
Recently, he slipped up to Kennebunkport, Maine, from London just to check in on George Bush, his ailing friend.The Private David Frost
John M. Florescu
September 3, 2013
She had been ailing for a month, and now she was down with a temperature.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
The joy of the meeting was making them forget the ailing stranger.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
He was decorated again and given the battlewagon of an ailing four-striper.The Adventurer
Cyril M. Kornbluth
At all events, she had for some time been ailing, and had finally been removed to the hospital.
Then, on hearing that his mother was ailing, even in danger, he become serious and anxious.
- unwell or unsuccessful
- (tr) to trouble; afflict
- (intr) to feel unwell
Word Origin and History for ailing
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]