AskDefine | Define ill

Dictionary Definition

ill adj
1 not in good physical or mental health; "ill from the monotony of his suffering" [syn: sick] [ant: well]
2 resulting in suffering or adversity; "ill effects"; "it's an ill wind that blows no good"
3 distressing; "ill manners"; "of ill repute"
4 indicating hostility or enmity; "you certainly did me an ill turn"; "ill feelings"; "ill will"
5 presaging ill-fortune; "ill omens"; "ill predictions"; "my words with inauspicious thunderings shook heaven"- P.B.Shelley; "a dead and ominous silence prevailed"; "a by-election at a time highly unpropitious for the Government" [syn: inauspicious, ominous] n : an often persistent bodily disorder or disease; a cause for complaining [syn: ailment, complaint] adv
1 (`ill' is often used as a combining form) in a poor or improper or unsatisfactory manner; not well; "he was ill prepared"; "it ill befits a man to betray old friends"; "the car runs badly"; "he performed badly on the exam"; "the team played poorly"; "ill-fitting clothes"; "an ill-conceived plan" [syn: badly, poorly] [ant: well]
2 unfavorably or with disapproval; "tried not to speak ill of the dead"; "thought badly of him for his lack of concern" [syn: badly] [ant: well]
3 with difficulty or inconvenience; scarcely or hardly; "we can ill afford to buy a new car just now"

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /ɪl/
  • Rhymes with: -ɪl


  1. Suffering from a disease.
    I've been ill with the flu for the past few days.
  2. Having an urge to vomit.
    Seeing those pictures made me ill.
  3. Bad, often connoting abuse or neglect.
    He suffered from ill treatment.
  4. In the context of "hip-hop slang": Sublime, with the connotation of being so in a singularly creative way. [This sense sometimes declines in AAVE as ill, comparative iller, superlative illest.]
    Biggie Smalls is the illest / Your style is played out, like Arnold wonderin "Whatchu talkin bout, Willis?" — Biggie Smalls, The What, 1994.
  5. Extremely bad (bad enough to make one ill). Generally used indirectly with to be.
    That band was ill.



  • (suffering from a disease): fine, hale, healthy, in good health, well
  • (having an urge to vomit):
  • (bad): good
  • (in hip-hop slang: sublime): wack


suffering from a disease
  • Danish: syg
  • Dutch: ziek
  • French: malade
  • German: krank
  • Irish: tinn
  • Italian: malato
  • Polish: chory
  • Slovene: bolan , bolna , bolno
  • Spanish: enfermo, enferma
  • Swedish: sjuk
  • Turkish: hasta
having an urge to vomit
  • Dutch: misselijk
  • French: écœuré, écœurée
  • German: übel
  • Spanish: mal, mareado
  • Swedish: illamående
  • Danish: dårlig
  • French: mauvais, mauvaise
  • German: übel
  • Polish: zły
  • Swedish: illa
  • Turkish: kötü
in hip-hop slang: sublime
Translations to be checked


  1. Badly; very incompletely. Often hyphenated to form an adjectival phrase.
    That move was ill-planned and ill-executed.



  • French: mal
  • Polish: źle
  • Spanish: mal


  1. In the context of "often pluralized": Trouble; distress; misfortune; adversity.
    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.
    Sociopaths do not seem to grasp the difference between good and ill.
  4. A physical ailment; an illness.
    I am incapacitated by rheumatism and other ills.
  5. Unfavorable remarks or opinions.
    Do not speak ill of the dead.

Derived terms


a problem
  • German: Übel
  • Polish: problem
something damaging


  • Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.
  • Random House Webster's Unabridged Electronic Dictionary, 1987-1996.

Extensive Definition

Not to be confused with the Roman number III.
Ill (ill) may refer to:
ILL may stand for:
ill in Tosk Albanian: Ill
ill in German: Ill
ill in French: Ill (homonymie)
ill in Hebrew: ייל
ill in Italian: ILL
ill in Japanese: ILL (曖昧さ回避)
ill in Dutch: Ill

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abomination, affection, ailing, ailment, amiss, apocalyptic, atrocity, bad, badly, baleful, bane, baneful, befoulment, below par, black, blight, bodeful, boding, complaint, condition, corruption, criminal, critically ill, crying evil, damage, damaging, dark, defilement, deleterious, despoliation, destruction, detriment, detrimental, dire, disadvantageously, disagreeable, disagreeably, discourteous, disease, disorder, disrespectful, doomful, down, dreary, evil, evil-starred, evilly, faint, faintish, fateful, feeling awful, feeling faint, feeling something terrible, foreboding, gloomy, grievance, harm, havoc, hurt, hurtful, ill-boding, ill-bred, ill-fated, ill-mannered, ill-omened, ill-starred, impertinent, impolite, improper, in danger, inaccurate, inauspicious, incline, inconveniently, indisposed, inexpedient, infection, inferior, infirmity, inhospitable, inhospitably, inimical, injurious, injury, invalid, laid low, lowering, malady, malevolent, menacing, mischief, mortally ill, not quite right, of evil portent, off-color, ominous, out of sorts, outrage, peccant, poison, pollution, portending, portentous, rocky, rude, seedy, sick, sick unto death, sickish, sickness, sinful, sinister, somber, syndrome, taken ill, the worst, threatening, toxin, unadvantageously, unaffectionate, unaffectionately, unamiable, unamiably, unbenign, unbenignant, unbenignantly, unbenignly, uncompassionate, uncompassionately, uncompassioned, uncordial, uncordially, under the weather, unfavorable, unfortunate, unfriendly, ungenial, ungenially, ungracious, ungraciously, unhandily, unhealthy, unkind, unkindly, unloving, unlovingly, unlucky, unpleasant, unprofitably, unpromising, unpropitious, unrewardingly, unskillful, unsympathetic, unsympathetically, unsympathizing, untoward, unwell, uselessly, venom, vexation, vicious, wicked, with difficulty, woe, wrong, wrongly
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