ill
Pronunciation Adjective

ill

  1. (obsolete) Evil; wicked (of people). [13th-19th c.]
    • St. Paul chose to magnify his office when ill men conspired to lessen it.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. In Six Volumes, volume (please specify ), London: Printed by A[ndrew] Millar, […], OCLC 928184292 ↗:
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      A man who is conscious of having an ill character, cannot justly be angry with those who neglect and slight him.
  2. (archaic) Morally reprehensible (of behaviour etc.); blameworthy. [from 13th c.]
    • 1999, George RR Martin, A Clash of Kings, Bantam 2011, p. 2:
      ‘Go bring her. It is ill to keep a lady waiting.’
  3. Indicative of unkind or malevolent intentions; harsh, cruel. [from 14th c.]
    He suffered from ill treatment.
  4. Unpropitious, unkind, faulty, not up to reasonable standard.
    ill manners; ill will
  5. Unwell in terms of health or physical condition; sick. [from 15th c.]
    I've been ill with the flu for the past few days.
  6. Having an urge to vomit. [from 20th c.]
    Seeing those pictures made me ill.
  7. (hip-hop slang) Sublime, with the connotation of being so in a singularly creative way.
    • 1986, Beastie Boys, License to Ill
    • 1994, Biggie Smalls, The What
      Biggie Smalls is the illest / Your style is played out, like Arnold wonderin "Whatchu talkin bout, Willis?"
  8. (slang) Extremely bad (bad enough to make one ill). Generally used indirectly with to be.
    That band was ill.
  9. (dated) Unwise; not a good idea.
    • Oh that when the devil and flesh entice the sinner to sport with and make a mock of sin, Prov. x. 23, he would but consider, it is ill jesting with edged tools, it is ill jesting with unquenchable burnings; […]
    • 1914, Indian Ink (volume 1, page 32)
      They arrested everybody—and it is ill to resist a drunken Tommy with a loaded rifle!
Synonyms Antonyms Translations Translations Adverb

ill

  1. Not well; imperfectly, badly; hardly.
    • 1859, Charles Dickens, The Haunted House
      Within, I found it, as I had expected, transcendently dismal. The slowly changing shadows waved on it from the heavy trees, were doleful in the last degree; the house was ill-placed, ill-built, ill-planned, and ill-fitted.
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page 3:
      In both groups, however, we find copious and intricate speciation so that, often, species limits are narrow and ill defined.
    • 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus 2010, p. 541:
      His inflexibility and blindness ill become a leader, for a leader must temper justice with mercy.
    • 2006, Julia Borossa (translator), Monique Canto-Sperber (quoted author), in Libération, 2002 February 2, quoted in Élisabeth Badinter (quoting author), Dead End Feminism, Polity, ISBN 9780745633800, page 40 ↗:
      Is it because this supposes an undifferentiated violence towards others and oneself that I could ill imagine in a woman?
Synonyms Antonyms Translations Noun

ill

  1. (often pluralized) Trouble; distress; misfortune; adversity.
    • c. 1599–1602, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene i]:
      That makes us rather bear those ills we have / Than fly to others that we know not of.
    Music won't solve all the world's ills, but it can make them easier to bear.
  2. Harm or injury.
    I wouldn't want you to do me ill.
  3. Evil; moral wrongfulness.
    • Strong virtue, like strong nature, struggles still, / Exerts itself, and then throws off the ill.
  4. A physical ailment; an illness.
    I am incapacitated by rheumatism and other ills.
  5. (US, slang, uncountable) PCP, phencyclidine.
Translations


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