adjective, worse, worst; ill·er, ill·est for 7.
Origin of ill
Origin of ill.
Examples from the Web for ill
They had rarely seen their own fathers carry small children unless their mothers were ill.
David Prowse, the actor who portrayed Darth Vader, wished to come back but had to turn down the role because of ill health.Juiciest ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Rumors (and Some Debunked Ones)|Rich Goldstein|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The more I become dissipated, ill, a broken pitcher, the more I too become a creative artist in that great revival of art.Decoding Vincent Van Gogh’s Tempestuous, Fragile Mind|Nick Mafi|December 7, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He was way too ill to visit the set and all that, but was very curious about the film.Idris Elba on Eric Garner, ‘Mi Mandela,’ and Selling Weed to Dave Chappelle|Marlow Stern|December 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
One of the last great rascal pols, Marion Barry left his mark—for good and ill—on Washington, D.C., and the country.Despite Crack and Graft, D.C. Loved ‘Hizzoner’ Marion Barry|Lloyd Grove|November 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
I was driven to take refuge in a miserable little place, where I fared as ill as possible.Sketches in Canada, and rambles among the red men|Anna Brownell Jameson
She was so ill that it was impossible for them to consider in how far she was to blame for what had happened.War and Peace|Leo Tolstoy
A consultation then takes place, and they may think that the word is "ill."My Book of Indoor Games|Clarence Squareman
Then there were long strings of neutral days when you did not think well of life, or ill of it.Steel|Charles Rumford Walker
And it might so easily have been the other way—Emil who was ill and Amedee who was sad!O Pioneers!|Willa Cather
adjective worse or worst
Word Origin for ill
c.1200, "morally evil" (other 13c. senses were "malevolent, hurtful, unfortunate, difficult"), from Old Norse illr "ill, bad," of unknown origin. Not related to evil. Main modern sense of "sick, unhealthy, unwell" is first recorded mid-15c., probably related to Old Norse idiom "it is bad to me." Slang inverted sense of "very good, cool" is 1980s. As a noun, "something evil," from mid-13c.
early 13c., "to do evil to," from ill (adj.). Meaing "to speak disparagingly" is from 1520s. Related: Illed; illing.
c.1200, "wickedly; with hostility;" see ill (adj.). Meaning "not well, poorly" is from c.1300. It generally has not shifted to the realm of physical sickess, as the adjective has done. Ill-fated recorded from 1710; ill-informed from 1824; ill-tempered from c.1600; ill-starred from c.1600. Generally contrasted with well, hence the useful, but now obsolete or obscure illcome (1570s), illfare (c.1300), and illth.
In addition to the idioms beginning with ill
- ill at ease
- ill wind that blows no one any good, it's an
, also see under
- get sick