ail

[eyl]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to be unwell; feel pain; be ill: He's been ailing for some time.

Origin of ail

before 950; Middle English ail, eilen, Old English eglan to afflict (cognate with Middle Low German egelen annoy, Gothic -agljan), derivative of egle painful; akin to Gothic agls shameful, Sanskrit aghám evil, pain
Can be confusedale ail awl

Synonyms for ail

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ails

bother, afflict, annoy, pain, distress, upset, sicken, trouble

Examples from the Web for ails

Contemporary Examples of ails

Historical Examples of ails


British Dictionary definitions for ails

ail

verb
  1. (tr) to trouble; afflict
  2. (intr) to feel unwell

Word Origin for ail

Old English eglan to trouble, from egle troublesome, painful, related to Gothic agls shameful
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ails

ail

v.

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]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper