- a small globular or rounded mass of medicinal substance, usually covered with a hard coating, that is to be swallowed whole.
- something unpleasant that has to be accepted or endured: Ingratitude is a bitter pill.
- Slang. a tiresomely disagreeable person.
- Sports Slang. a ball, especially a baseball or golf ball.
- the pill. birth-control pill.
- pills, British Slang. billiards.
- to dose with pills.
- to form or make into pills.
- Slang. to blackball.
- to form into small, pill-like balls, as the fuzz on a wool sweater.Compare depill.
- Take a chill pill! Disparaging Slang. chill pill(def 2).
Origin of pill1
- British Dialect. to peel.
- Obsolete. to become or cause to become bald.
Origin of pill2
- to rob, plunder, or pillage.
Origin of pill3
Examples from the Web for pills
Rather than downing a handful of pills, I planned to take my life by opening a vein in each wrist.Dear Leelah, We Will Fight On For You: A Letter to a Dead Trans Teen
January 1, 2015
Ten minutes after taking the pills, she reports that she “was really stoned, I mean, smashed.”I Warned You About Bill Cosby in 2007
November 20, 2014
Death by pills or lethal injection might be unnatural, but she believes that declining nourishment and medications is not.The Nurse Coaching People Through Death by Starvation
November 17, 2014
The next thing I recall is that the doctor gave me pills in my bedroom.The Honeymoon Murder Trial of British Millionaire Shrien Dewani Begins
October 7, 2014
Also, at the time of his deposition Thicke had been off of pills for two months, because his wife left him in February.Hey, Hey, Hey Robin Thicke Was Too Vicodin Wasted to Really Write ‘Blurred Lines’
September 16, 2014
It was enclosed in a pasteboard box, and, when packed, looked just like the parcel of pills.The Channings
Mrs. Henry Wood
He poured out the contents of the gourds, and ate up all the pills of life.
Shortly afterward Laotzse also came to him to tell about the theft of the pills of life.
This ape has eaten the peaches, has drunk the nectar and also swallowed the pills of life.
He wanted to take a couple of his pills but not in front of Dorwin.Reel Life Films
Samuel Kimball Merwin
- a slang word for testiclesSee testicle
- a small spherical or ovoid mass of a medicinal substance, intended to be swallowed whole
- the pill (sometimes capital) informal an oral contraceptive
- something unpleasant that must be endured (esp in the phrase bitter pill to swallow)
- slang a ball or disc
- a small ball of matted fibres that forms on the surface of a fabric through rubbing
- slang an unpleasant or boring person
- (tr) to give pills to
- (tr) to make pills of
- to form into small balls
- (of a fabric) to form small balls of fibre on its surface through rubbing
- (tr) slang to blackball
- archaic, or dialect to peel or skin (something)
- archaic to pillage or plunder (a place)
- obsolete to make or become bald
Word Origin and History for pills
"small ball or round mass of medicine," c.1400, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German pille and Middle French pile, all from Latin pilula "pill," literally "little ball," diminutive of pila "a ball, playing ball," said to be related to pilus "hair" if the original notion was "hairball." Figurative sense "something disagreeable that must be swallowed" is from 1540s; slang meaning "boring person" is recorded from 1871. The pill "contraceptive pill" is from 1957.
1736, "to dose on pills," from pill (n.). From 1882 as "to form into pills." Related: Pilled; pilling.
- A small pellet or tablet of medicine, often coated, taken by swallowing whole or by chewing.
- An oral contraceptive.
Idioms and Phrases with pills
see bitter pill to swallow; sugar the pill.