- not strong; unhealthy; ailing.
- of, connected with, or arising from ill health: a sickly complexion.
- marked by the prevalence of ill health, as a region: the epidemic left the town sickly.
- causing sickness.
- maudlin and insipid; mawkish: sickly sentimentality.
- faint or feeble, as light or color.
- in a sick or sickly manner.
- to cover with a sickly hue.
Origin of sickly
SynonymsSee more synonyms for sickly on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for sickly
Neruda suffered from cancer, and he looked unwell, with a sickly yellow glow.In Chile, Poetry Outlives the Dictators
October 27, 2014
How did your family react to seeing you so skinny and sickly looking?Matt Bomer Tells the Personal Story Behind His Heartbreaking ‘Normal Heart’ Performance
May 21, 2014
A hunter comes across a sickly gorilla, too weak to defend itself from the blows of his cleaver.Already Deadly in Africa, Could Ebola Hit America Next?
April 5, 2014
Seconds later my friend picked me up in front of the truck stop, his face a sickly shade of white.The Myths of Matthew Shepard’s Infamous Death
September 22, 2013
Priest and politician, sickly child and medical miracle, Bob Massie has had about an American of a life as anyone could imagine.This Week’s Hot Reads: May 23, 2012
Nicholas Mancusi, Malcolm Jones, Lucas Wittmann
May 23, 2012
The boy was sickly: he might be taken from him ere he had made any true acquaintance with him!Weighed and Wanting
My second child was a girl; but a poor diminutive, sickly thing.Tales And Novels, Volume 3 (of 10)
"He's alive then," exclaimed Anthony, pale in the sickly light.It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
It was now autumn, and the most sickly season I had ever known in Peewawkin.The Works of Whittier, Volume V (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
The face of the latter was a sickly green, the gift of his fright.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
- 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