[ sik-lee ]
/ ˈsɪk li /

adjective, sick·li·er, sick·li·est.


in a sick or sickly manner.

verb (used with object), sick·lied, sick·ly·ing.

to cover with a sickly hue.

Nearby words

  1. sickle-cell test,
  2. sickle-hocked,
  3. sicklebill,
  4. sicklemia,
  5. sickling,
  6. sickness,
  7. sickness benefit,
  8. sicko,
  9. sickout,
  10. sickroom

Origin of sickly

1300–50; Middle English siklich, sekly (adj.). See sick1, -ly

Related formssick·li·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sickly

British Dictionary definitions for sickly


/ (ˈsɪklɪ) /

adjective -lier or -liest

disposed to frequent ailments; not healthy; weak
of, relating to, or caused by sickness
(of a smell, taste, etc) causing revulsion or nausea
(of light or colour) faint or feeble
mawkish; insipidsickly affectation


in a sick or sickly manner
Derived Formssickliness, noun

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 sickly



late 14c., "ill, invalid, habitually ailing," from sick (adj.) + -ly (1). Meaning "causing sickness" in any sense is from c.1600. Related: Sickliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper