or sick

See more synonyms for sic on
verb (used with object), sicced or sicked [sikt] /sɪkt/, sic·cing or sick·ing.
  1. to attack (used especially in commanding a dog): Sic 'em!
  2. to incite to attack (usually followed by on).

Origin of sic

First recorded in 1835–45; variant of seek


verb (used with object)
  1. sic1. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sicking

Historical Examples of sicking

  • And I seen he was sicking his intellects onto the job of making her pay.

  • They were very quiet but spent the time "sicking Mabel on," as Dee expressed it.

  • Upon the Sicking river, nearly a hundred miles north from Boonesborough, there were valuable springs richly impregnated with salt.

    Daniel Boone

    John S. C. Abbott

  • Half an hour later, lonely Laura, discovering the girls on their doorstep, amused herself by sicking the dog at them.

    Dandelion Cottage

    Carroll Watson Rankin

  • His whole manner was that of a boy who, although making no sound, might be "sicking" one dog on another.

    At Whispering Pine Lodge

    Lawrence J. Leslie

British Dictionary definitions for sicking


  1. inclined or likely to vomit
    1. suffering from ill health
    2. (as collective noun; preceded by the)the sick
    1. of, relating to, or used by people who are unwellsick benefits
    2. (in combination)sickroom
  2. deeply affected with a mental or spiritual feeling akin to physical sicknesssick at heart
  3. mentally, psychologically, or spiritually disturbed
  4. informal delighting in or catering for the macabre or sadistic; morbidsick humour
  5. Also: sick and tired (often foll by of) informal disgusted or weary, esp because satiatedI am sick of his everlasting laughter
  6. (often foll by for) weary with longing; piningI am sick for my own country
  7. pallid or sickly
  8. not in working order
  9. (of land) unfit for the adequate production of certain crops
  10. look sick slang to be outclassed
noun, verb
  1. an informal word for vomit
See also sick-out
Derived Formssickish, adjective

Word Origin for sick

Old English sēoc; related to Old Norse skjūkr, Gothic siuks, Old High German sioh


  1. a variant spelling of sic 2


  1. so or thus: inserted in brackets in a written or printed text to indicate that an odd or questionable reading is what was actually written or printed

Word Origin for sic



verb sics, sicking or sicked (tr)
  1. to turn on or attack: used only in commands, as to a dog
  2. to urge (a dog) to attack

Word Origin for sic

C19: dialect variant of seek


determiner, adverb
  1. a Scot word for such
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 sicking



insertion in printed quotation to call attention to error in the original; Latin, literally "so, thus, in this way," related to or emphatic of si "if," from PIE root *so- "this, that" (cf. Old English sio "she"). Used regularly in English articles from 1876, perhaps by influence of similar use in French (1872).

[I]t amounts to Yes, he did say that, or Yes, I do mean that, in spite of your natural doubts. It should be used only when doubt is natural; but reviewers & controversialists are tempted to pretend that it is, because (sic) provides them with a neat & compendious form of sneer. [Fowler]

Sic passim is "generally so throughout."



"to chase, set upon" (as in command sick him!), 1845, dialectal variant of seek. Used as an imperative to incite a dog to attack a person or animal; hence "cause to pursue." Related: Sicked; sicking.



"unwell," Old English seoc "ill, diseased, feeble, weak; corrupt; sad, troubled, deeply affected," from Proto-Germanic *seukaz, of uncertain origin. The general Germanic word (cf. Old Norse sjukr, Danish syg, Old Saxon siok, Old Frisian siak, Middle Dutch siec, Dutch ziek, Old High German sioh, Gothic siuks "sick, ill"), but in German and Dutch displaced by krank "weak, slim," probably originally with a sense of "twisted, bent" (see crank (n.)).

Restricted meaning "having an inclination to vomit, affected with nausea" is from 1610s; sense of "tired or weary (of something), disgusted from satiety" is from 1590s; phrase sick and tired of is attested from 1783. Meaning "mentally twisted" in modern colloquial use is from 1955, a revival of the word in this sense from 1550s (sense of "spiritually or morally corrupt" was in Old English, which also had seocmod "infirm of mind"); sick joke is from 1958.



"those who are sick," Old English seoce, from sick (adj).



"to set upon, attack;" see sick (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sicking in Medicine


  1. Suffering from or affected with a disease or disorder.
  2. Of or for sick persons.
  3. Nauseated.
  4. Mentally ill or disturbed.
  5. Constituting an unhealthy environment for those working or residing within, as of a building.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

sicking in Culture


A Latin word for “thus,” used to indicate that an apparent error is part of quoted material and not an editorial mistake: “The learned geographer asserts that ‘the capital of the United States is Washingtown [sic].’”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with sicking


In addition to the idioms beginning with sick

  • sick and tired
  • sick as a dog
  • sick at heart
  • sick in bed
  • sick joke
  • sick to one's stomach

also see:

  • call in sick
  • get sick
  • make one sick
  • worried sick
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.