Definition of ill at ease in English:

ill at ease


  • Uncomfortable or embarrassed.

    • ‘She sits isolated, straining at the boundaries of the picture, thoroughly ill at ease with her space.’
    • ‘It made him uncomfortable and ill at ease, and he felt she was trying to keep him there in the pilothouse.’
    • ‘Worse than that, everybody felt ill at ease and unsure how to behave in front of the former enemy.’
    • ‘The world depicted is a fascinating one, and we gaze upon it with rapt attention, even as the disquieting mood of the film keeps us ill at ease.’
    • ‘Why did he seem so ill at ease, so uncomfortable with the role he had to play?’
    • ‘Any white person expressing such ideas is obviously a buttoned up racist, ill at ease with the realities of multicultural Britain and its vibrant black youth culture.’
    • ‘She feels awkward, ill at ease, and even intruded upon.’
    • ‘Russians, for historical reasons, can be acutely ill at ease with the idea of expounding uncomfortable truths in a formal setting.’
    • ‘I just shifted in my seat, feeling very nervous, and ill at ease.’
    • ‘She had become very uncomfortable and ill at ease when visiting her parents and suffered chronic tension.’
    awkward, uneasy, uncomfortable, self-conscious, out of place, unnatural, inhibited, gauche, strained
    embarrassed, shy, bashful, blushing, retiring, shrinking
    unsure, uncertain, unsettled, hesitant, faltering
    restless, restive, fidgety, unrelaxed, disquieted, disturbed, discomfited, troubled, worried, anxious, on edge, edgy, nervous, tense, on tenterhooks
    apprehensive, distrustful
    fazed, discombobulated, twitchy, on pins and needles, jittery
    View synonyms


ill at ease

/ˌɪl ət ˈiːz/