Main definitions of sick in English

: sick1sick2



  • 1Affected by physical or mental illness.

    ‘nursing very sick children’
    ‘half my staff were off sick’
    ‘visiting the sick and the elderly’
    • ‘Seth is really sick with bronchitis, but its definitely not that.’
    • ‘When we tried to track him down we discovered that he had been off sick for four weeks, yet this was not known to the departments that relied on him for results, and no alternative arrangements had been put in place.’
    • ‘High rates of HIV infection have also contributed to the crisis, with many farmers too sick with AIDS to plant or tend their crops.’
    • ‘Several staff members were already off sick with the flu.’
    • ‘Speaking to the Evening Press, the woman, who comes from the Malton area, said the attack had left her feeling physically sick with worry as she has to walk the same route every day.’
    • ‘What about those tales where the whole ship falls sick with some incurable disease?’
    • ‘Every year, eight million people become sick with TB, 80 per cent of whom are in 22 high burden countries.’
    • ‘Masterson said he was suspended for two days without pay and with no prior notice after the company claimed he had inappropriately taken two days off sick.’
    • ‘Krista's sick with strep-throat or something, so she didn't come to school today.’
    • ‘He is always calling in sick with medically astounding symptoms, or making up increasingly implausible excuses not to come in.’
    • ‘He went back to the hotel that night and 22nd February he then became very sick with difficulty breathing, and went to the hospital in Hong Kong.’
    • ‘A city council which requires employees to call a nurse when they take time off sick said yesterday the approach was helping cut absenteeism.’
    • ‘John was a dedicated family doctor who, I later learned, was too busy looking after the many people sick with influenza in his practice to look after his own health.’
    • ‘Fifteen to twenty percent of the elderly who are sick with pneumococci die from this infection, so it is well worth preventing.’
    • ‘Olwen Jones sued Sandwell Council where she worked at a training centre until 1995 when she went off sick with anxiety and depression and never returned to work.’
    • ‘He felt physically sick with anger and betrayal but he stayed cool.’
    • ‘The end results were anything but pleasant for Niko who spent a week after the incident in the hospital ward sick with fever and poison from snakes bite.’
    • ‘Following his admission to the hospital, approximately 20 hospital staff became sick with similar symptoms.’
    • ‘I recalled having a bit when sick with fever, for it was rumored to be medicinal; I nearly grew sicker because of it.’
    • ‘So far, the people who have gotten sick with this potentially lethal virus seem to have caught it from infected birds.’
    ill, unwell, poorly, ailing, indisposed, laid up, bad, out of sorts, not oneself
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Relating to those who are ill.
      ‘the company organized a sick fund for its workers’
      • ‘The veterinary charity, the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, wants people in Cumbria to take the Challenge of a Lifetime and help to raise funds to treat sick and injured pets.’
      • ‘The Ministry of Health provides for those who do not receive care from a sick fund.’
      • ‘She didn't fall for any of those phony ‘help-the-homeless’ funds that the sick hedonists kept trying to sell to dupes.’
      • ‘The sick fund refused to reimburse in each case: In Kohll this was because it saw no basis for exceptional treatment abroad.’
      • ‘‘The bargaining council is once again at risk of collapsing, which would mean no more provident or sick fund for workers,’ he said.’
      • ‘The workhouse was built within the current grounds of Daisy Hill in 1841 to provide accommodation for the poorly and sick in the area.’
      • ‘He says he did not benefit directly, as the money was channelled to a trust fund for a sick relative via a family trust fund.’
      • ‘In the savage factory working conditions of the time, he introduced the novel concepts of steady wages, clean, humane conditions and a sick fund.’
      • ‘The funds raised will provide vital free veterinary treatment to the sick and injured pets of people in need.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the Guild will be holding it's annual door to door collection in the parish next month to help fund the sending of sick parishioners on the Pilgrimage.’
    2. 1.2 (of an organization, system, or society) suffering from serious problems.
      ‘the British economy remains sick’
      • ‘The recent events are nothing but reflections of a sick society where rampant corruption, political vendetta and laxity in criminal justice are the order of the day.’
      • ‘Still, what can be wrong with applying classical music as an unguent to the sores of a sick society?’
      • ‘The principle that the government can and should run a deficit to stimulate a sick economy was first propounded by John Maynard Keynes.’
      • ‘We live in a really sad and sick society and obviously ~ no one cares.’
      • ‘Whatever the continuing vitality to be found in the villages, the larger political and economic systems are sick.’
      • ‘What sort of a sick society are we living in, where a rape victim has to cover her face?’
      • ‘What kind of sick society is it, in these refugee camps, that a mother could condone the suicide, at any age, of her son?’
      • ‘It seems to me that the problems of asylum seekers, the growing divide between rich and poor and the rise in litigation are all symptoms of a sick society.’
      • ‘Another resolution inviting all sick societies to remove their lodges from the public houses to the schools was also carried.’
      • ‘The Associated Press has become a very sick organization.’
      • ‘It's a sick system, and many in the medical profession realise that it has to change.’
      • ‘Laughter is the best medicine for a sick society.’
      • ‘You are a part of a sick system that hates innovations.’
      • ‘We are transforming a once very sick society into a hopeful place.’
      • ‘How sick is the society which produces such levels of anger, frustration and destructive energy?’
      • ‘Our sick society and stupid economics are dragging the planet to the edge of apocalypse.’
      • ‘They say that a sick society cleanses itself this way.’
      • ‘Other Ministers own property abroad, and to give them these payouts on the grounds that they have ‘incurred debts’ is a sign of a very sick society.’
      • ‘You cannot design the crime and disorder out of our sick society.’
      • ‘Her belief that capitalism is a sick system remained undiminished, and she believed a better world was desirable but wasn't sure it was achievable.’
  • 2predicative Feeling nauseous and wanting to vomit.

    ‘he was starting to feel sick’
    ‘Mark felt sick with fear’
    • ‘Recalling his first trip in the air, Tu said he felt very sick and even vomited.’
    • ‘On the morning of October 17, 1999, Wei sent his wife to Renji Hospital, when Zhou became extremely sick and started vomiting.’
    • ‘She ran to her bathroom and vomited, relieving the sick sensation a bit, but not entirely.’
    nauseous, nauseated, queasy, bilious, sick to one's stomach, green, green about the gills
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1attributive (of an emotion) so intense as to cause one to feel unwell or nauseous.
      ‘he had a sick fear of returning’
      • ‘I was interviewed for this programme, but I listened to it with mounting horror and a sick feeling in my stomach.’
      • ‘Do they derive some form of sick pleasure from seeing a stranger humiliate their child/friends on public television?’
      • ‘Yes, it would be part - my guess is that somebody - part of the whole kind of sick thrill.’
      • ‘My past simply heightens my nausea, but doesn't create and sustain the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that rises throughout the day.’
      • ‘Did it give you some kind of sick thrill to write about the little crime spree that you created?’
      • ‘Their lives are forfeit for the few hours of sick pleasure their agonies grant those who hunt them.’
      • ‘A scared face looked back at her, and a lonely and sick emotion filled the eyes of that face.’
      • ‘My father, who fought in the First World War, described fear as not so much a sick feeling as a heightening of the senses.’
      • ‘I don't want to enter the dark, broken-down rooms because I get this sick feeling in my gut.’
      • ‘In fact, it is the hunters who tend to be violent as they become enraged at being denied the sick pleasure of killing wildlife and take out their aggression on the saboteurs.’
      • ‘I hated the sick feeling that that gave me, and I was so so tired of doubting myself.’
      • ‘It's a funny / sick feeling that you get when you're invited to an ex-lover's wedding.’
      • ‘A sick thrill of excitement travelled through his body.’
      • ‘We've outlawed badger-baiters and dog-fighters for their sick pleasure in torturing animals, and we can only hope foxhunting will go the same way.’
      • ‘The teacher walked in and the pride that I had felt a moment before suddenly turned into a feeling of pure sick terror.’
      • ‘Decades later the pounding he took is still vivid enough for him to wonder what kind of sick pleasure his teacher took in seeing him nearly killed.’
      • ‘The sick feeling returned to him again and he knew it would be setting up shop for quite awhile now.’
      • ‘I have witnessed institutional racism throughout my life, especially in places you would least expect it, and each time it happens I get a deep sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.’
      • ‘Now he knew better, though Taylor still felt the sick feeling of envy creep in him whenever he visited the Moretti household.’
      • ‘Anyone who has ever come home to the sick feeling of being broken into will know that this is a crime that can cause lasting upset and unease.’
    2. 2.2informal Disappointed, mortified, or miserable.
      ‘he looked pretty sick at that, but he eventually agreed’
      • ‘To be honest, I feel so sick about the whole thing that even the memory of the try I scored does nothing to relieve the gloom.’
      • ‘Ben Stiller has confessed he is worried sick about providing his daughter with a ‘normal life’.’
      • ‘Like the mainstream in Britain and the US, Middle Australia is worried sick about declining values, the threat to national security and the future of their children.’
      • ‘He felt slightly sick about what he was about to do.’
      • ‘Tell Luca the second he gets home that I am very worried and sick about this situation.’
      • ‘He is worried sick about her safety, since the disappearance of the Shadow Melters began.’
      • ‘You must be worried sick about me by now, I'm sorry I wasn't able to write or call you earlier.’
      • ‘But just doing the best we can and that the owners, of course, are sick about it.’
      • ‘Barney is very timid and we are worried sick about him.’
      • ‘It made you feel confused, fascinated, terrified and sick, but never passive or disappointed.’
      • ‘Now even he was beginning to feel sick about this.’
      • ‘She just found out about her Dad, and I'm sure she's worried sick about you.’
      • ‘There is something inherently sick about seeking to profit from deceit.’
      • ‘Well, we know that many of you are worried sick about the pets that you were forced to leave behind.’
      • ‘Even when the flu symptoms subside, Minnis should feel sick about the money that slipped through his normally reliable hands.’
      • ‘Some members of our association are worried sick about how they are going to survive.’
      • ‘There must be individuals there who feel sick about Howard's cynical exploitation of the Australian peoples' ignorance about refuges and fears of invasion.’
      • ‘It was only then that I realized that him and Robbie were in the same boat together; both worried sick about us.’
      • ‘Your grandmother is worried sick about you, and to tell you the truth it's been long since I've seen her worried about anyone but Jasmine and her siblings.’
      • ‘Why did my mom have to pretend that she wasn't worried sick about the fact that her daughter was thousands of miles away?’
      disappointed, miserable, depressed, dejected, despondent, downcast, disconsolate, unhappy, low-spirited, distressed
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3archaic Pining or longing for someone or something.
      ‘he was sick for a sight of her’
  • 3sick ofIntensely annoyed with or bored by (someone or something) as a result of having had too much of them.

    ‘I'm absolutely sick of your moods’
    fed up with, bored by, bored with, tired of, weary of, jaded by, jaded with, surfeited by, surfeited with, satiated with, glutted by, glutted with
    View synonyms
  • 4informal (especially of humour) having something unpleasant such as death or misfortune as its subject and dealing with it in an offensive way.

    ‘this was someone's idea of a sick joke’
    • ‘The sick charm of Keller is that he really does seem like a normal everyday person.’
    • ‘The idea that the war has made the world a safer place is a sick joke.’
    • ‘Until the foreign armies leave the country, the idea that it has been liberated is little more than a sick joke.’
    • ‘After every disaster or horrible murder there is a rush of sick jokes.’
    • ‘The symbolic center of the film industry, Hollywood Boulevard has long been Los Angeles' secret, sick joke on hopeful tourists.’
    • ‘Are you guys collaborating on any other sick jokes that we should know about?’
    • ‘It sounds same-old-same-old, but let me assure you that Mancini crams as much daft humour and sick jokes in as possible.’
    • ‘Humour dressed-up in combat fatigues: poor excuse for a sick joke?’
    • ‘For those with a sick sense of humour, say no more; this is your kind of movie.’
    • ‘Whoever named this building had a sick sense of humour.’
    • ‘The ‘no patient services would be cut’ line is a sick joke.’
    • ‘Dominic and I share a sick sense of humour, what can I say?’
    • ‘I'm essentially a decent enough guy, but I'll readily admit to possessing a bit of a sick sense of humour.’
    • ‘We're also unmistakably in David Cronenberg territory here, but without the sick humour that usually goes with it.’
    • ‘This is one of the first tragic news events that has not been immediately followed by a round of sick jokes.’
    • ‘‘Someone out there has a really sick sense of humour,’ I said mostly to myself.’
    • ‘Laughing at his own sick humour, Suarez ascended to the second level of the house, more designed to live in than the level below.’
    • ‘The most promising lead turned out to be a sick joke when I found myself bleakly staring down at some bird food.’
    • ‘An election in which the names of the candidates in the various lists are still not known 18 days before the polls open is a sick joke, not an election.’
    • ‘A council worker is facing the threat of disciplinary action after being caught searching the internet for sick jokes about the Asian tsunami.’
    macabre, black, ghoulish, morbid, perverted, gruesome, sadistic, cruel, offensive
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    1. 4.1 (of a person) having abnormal or unnatural tendencies; perverted.
      ‘he is a deeply sick man from whom society needs to be protected’
      • ‘These are very sick people to do this, and a message needs to go out.’
      • ‘Apparently, there were some bogus calls that were made in to try and - you know, for whatever reason, some sick people would do that.’
      • ‘But if you use that as an excuse to inflict pain on them, then you are sick and sadistic and motivated solely by bigotry.’
      • ‘There's too many sick people in the streets and not enough cops.’
      • ‘They are sick and depraved and have convinced themselves they are right and the rest of us are wrong.’
      • ‘We think a serial killer is an intelligent, sick person who targets his victims carefully like Dr. Hannibal Lecter played by Anthony Hopkins.’
  • 5informal Excellent.


mass nounBritish
  • Vomit.

    ‘she was busy wiping sick from the carpet’
    • ‘The group are taken on a tour of Wimbledon tennis centre where they are made to wear all white and are force fed strawberries until they vomit red sick.’
    • ‘So, while I cleaned cat sick off the carpet Paul headed off home to finish putting his kitchen back together now that the painting is finished.’
    • ‘I arrived downstairs find to both cats outside and a pile of sick in the middle of the sitting room carpet.’


[with object]sick something up
  • Bring something up by vomiting.

    ‘he was passing blood and sicking it up’
    no object ‘she sicked up all over the carpet’


  • be sick

    • 1Be ill.

      • ‘As most of them were sick, we stretched out to them and ensured that all of us were safe in one place.’
      • ‘at 8pm tonight Mary rang up and said that she couldn't go out because her mum was sick and she didn't want to leave her at home alone.’
      • ‘Five workers in the office of Deputy Chief Minister, the second highest ranking official in the state, were being treated with antibiotics, and that none were sick.’
      • ‘The letter stated that Tommy was sick and was unable to testify.’
      • ‘He served the Forest department and provided Medicare to several animals, which were sick and dying.’
      • ‘Till late last night, as Hans and I chatted with her in exaggerated gestures and atrocious Portuguese, she was in fine spirits, though she knew her child was sick.’
      • ‘In his health passport they recorded all these diagnoses and on every occasion he was given only painkillers although he was sick, weak and losing weight quite rapidly.’
      • ‘Though always busy with his work, Michael never forgot to enquire for friends who were sick, lonely or fell on hard times.’
      • ‘Have you ever worried if the mutton or pork on your plate is from a healthy animal and not from one that was sick or one that was already dead before it was ‘slaughtered’?’
      • ‘‘Standard patients’ have some medical knowledge, enabling them to imitate real patients and allow medical students to diagnose them as if they really were sick.’
    • 2Vomit.

      ‘the baby was sick all over my silk shirt’
      • ‘Her condition meant she never learnt to swallow or suck as a baby and would be sick as soon as she was fed.’
      • ‘He started being sick, early hours of Sunday morning and was sick a few times during the day complaining of abdominal pains.’
      • ‘Walk home one night after the taxi driver threw me out because he thought I was going to be sick.’
      • ‘He opened his mouth to announce that he was going to be sick, but the vomit rose through his throat before he could say the words.’
      • ‘After flying for half an hour or so, my friend in the front seat called me on the intercom and said he was sick, getting dicey and wanting to vomit.’
      • ‘Remember to allow extra time in your schedule for last minute disasters such as your baby filling his nappy / being sick on your work clothes.’
      • ‘But I was sick and had to vomit several times, it would not stop.’
      • ‘I started to keep a diary which held all my feelings and also held a record of when I felt the need to be sick and if I was sick.’
      • ‘If the person has been sick, then bring a sample of the vomit too - medical staff can analyse the vomit for important information.’
      • ‘Sometimes the child will whoop then be sick at the end of a bout of coughing.’
      • ‘Since he was six months old, he has often been sick and vomits.’
      • ‘It seems his father was sick with vomiting yesterday.’
      • ‘The washer breaking down was the most annoying thing, happening just when the baby was sick and there was five times as much laundry to do.’
      • ‘She then turned and made for the door and then leaned out of it taking deep breaths feeling as if she were to be sick and throw up.’
      • ‘He knew he was going to be sick, and took deep breaths to prevent himself from vomiting.’
      vomit, throw up, retch
      View synonyms
  • get sick

    • 1Be ill.

      • ‘Yes, squirrels, like humans, get sick and can be infected by a variety of parasites, bacteria, and viruses.’
      • ‘There was stress-induced frustration and extra guilt when the children got sick and the arguments started about whose turn it was to take the day off work.’
      • ‘In other words, they got sick and died up to three years sooner than other HIV men surveyed over a 10-year period.’
      • ‘But eventually, people there got sick and died too.’
      • ‘The rats got sick in 1346 and half of the 20-million people died between 1346 and 1351.’
      • ‘There are a lot of costs for the couple, who are already financially stretched with a mortgage, a car loan, and with Anita having had to give up her job as Craig got sick more often.’
      • ‘I haven't been on the pill since mum got sick for the second time, so I've been self-regulating for coming up three years.’
      • ‘My kids got sick because the city was incredibly polluted.’
      • ‘People buy health insurance because they don't know whether they will get sick.’
      • ‘We've breakfasted on Smarties at 5.30 am, lunched on chips and Coke at IIam and then, starved for ‘real’ food, gone out to a nearby farm to pick cherries until we all got sick.’
      • ‘Is have a nice photo from before he got sick - it's how I like to remember him.’
      • ‘My dad got sick very early, when I was a youngster, and I was very confused.’
    • 2Vomit.

  • make someone sick

    • 1Cause someone to vomit or feel nauseous or unwell.

      ‘sherry makes me sick and so do cigars’
      • ‘It wasn't that he was afraid of blood, on the contrary, but too much blood, exposed organs, and raw flesh with that nauseous stench could already make him sick.’
      • ‘The smell made Eric sick, increasing the urge to vomit up his unfinished meal.’
      1. 1.1Cause someone to feel intense annoyance or disgust.
        ‘you're so damned self-righteous you make me sick!’
        • ‘Some patients died during aversion therapy after choking on their own vomit when therapists utilised disgusting sexual imagery to make them sick.’
        • ‘This is disgusting, makes me sick to my stomach.’
        • ‘It was making her sick and disgusted just looking at them.’
        • ‘She bit her lip and clenched her fists tightly, trying to chase away the memories and the sensations that made her sick with shame and disgust.’
  • — oneself sick

    • Do something to such an extent that one feels nauseous or unwell (often used for emphasis)

      ‘she was worrying herself sick about Mike’
      • ‘A mother or father who is already suffering an agonising death from cancer, worrying themselves sick about what will happen to their family, when there is no one left to bring home the bacon.’
      • ‘It's possible to make yourself sick, or at least slightly nauseous by overdoing it though.’
      • ‘Employees in many Montreal nail salons may be working themselves sick.’
      • ‘Some women make themselves sick trying to be ‘ladylike’.’
      • ‘But it really worries me when I hear that young people are starving themselves sick to get thin.’
      • ‘A disturbing 57% had indulged in binge eating, making themselves sick or cutting themselves.’
      • ‘Don't tell me ladies that you don't know someone who's gone bankrupt in the last year or so - I know you do - and you worry yourself sick about them.’
      • ‘‘You're making yourself sick,’ he said sympathetically.’
      • ‘It's a good thing you can't buy fabulous durians in Australia, or I'd be making myself sick on the weekends.’
      • ‘You must stop crying or you will make yourself sick.’
  • on the sick

    • informal Receiving sickness benefit.

      • ‘You cannot sack someone if they are on a probationary period - they turn up for their job one day, then they go on the sick for up to a year, and you can't sack them.’
      • ‘I have worked since I was 15, I haven't been on the sick in over 25 years and I've only had two weeks on the dole in my life.’
      • ‘Turns out he's been signed off on the sick with stress, and has toddled off to catch a bit of football and some rays somewhere pleasant.’
      • ‘It is almost as if they are making capital out of people being poorly - it is a tax on the sick.’
      • ‘He told me about 3 other patients of his who have this, 2 of them are working again (albeit only part time) after at least 2 years on the sick.’
      • ‘They're very sensitive souls and I think the particular family therapist that I met might well be off work on the sick with stress after meeting me.’
      • ‘Always seems to be on the sick from his main job, but happy to come out and have a look at your problem if he's well enough.’
      • ‘Whatever the circumstances, you can't condone working while you are supposed to be off on the sick.’
      • ‘I'm on the sick with stress and my doctor has told me I must see a counsellor.’
      • ‘After only a few weeks of that term the claimant came off on the sick again with depression and this time never returned.’
  • sick and tired of

    • informal Annoyed about or bored with (someone or something) and unwilling to put up with them any longer.

      ‘I am sick and tired of all the criticism’
      • ‘I am sick and tired of people telling me how noble this cause is.’
      • ‘I got sick and tired of people arguing about which kind of bird was called what.’
      • ‘I am sick and tired of being told what might and what might not happen.’
      • ‘I'm sick and tired of people constantly chipping away at our most sacred institution.’
      • ‘I am sick and tired of my four-year-old son coming into the house with soiled shoes and having to clean the mess off the carpets.’
      • ‘I for one am sick and tired of sensationalist reporting by all branches of the media to sell papers or boost ratings on TV.’
      • ‘My guess is that he's sick and tired of people trying to blame him for their own cruelty and stupidity.’
      • ‘They are sick and tired of government officials who change their position every time there is trouble.’
      • ‘People are flat out sick and tired of losing their jobs to cheaper foreign labor.’
      • ‘We are sick and tired of the cry nothing can be done about it.’
  • (as) sick as a dog

    • informal Extremely ill.

      ‘you were as sick as a dog when you ate those shrimps’
      • ‘Yeah well, I spent the next two days sick as a dog, and Nurse Hatchmore found our why.’
      • ‘I did not write any more this week because I was sick as a dog.’
      • ‘At times, when I was lying on my hospital bed being pumped full of chemotherapy drugs that made me as sick as a dog and caused my hair to fall out, I used to close my eyes and dream I was somewhere else.’
      • ‘Back in the saddle again, after being sick as a dog all week.’
      • ‘I have been sick as a dog - still have the bronchitis going, but the worst part is an unbelievably sore throat - so bad that I literally cannot swallow, talk, etc.’
      • ‘I've spent the last week trying to do as little as possible, because I've been sick as a dog.’
      • ‘What amazed me was he was sick as a dog, but if a school was coming the next day, he'd put on his suit and get out there.’
      • ‘I arrived sick as a dog and played the first few games with a high fever, mowing everyone down with unnerving ease.’
      • ‘But as little as I like him, I don't think he'd have been willing to make himself sick as a dog just for a little personal drama.’
      • ‘That night, Zach was looking better, but still sick as a dog.’
  • (as) sick as a parrot

    • informal Extremely disappointed.

      ‘if I was to break my leg tomorrow I'd be as sick as a parrot’
      • ‘Dave, should have looked as sick as a parrot, but instead beamed a ghastly smile as he enthused about the prospect of Team GB entering a British Football Team into the 2012 Olympic Games.’
      • ‘Computer users who fall for this trick will be feeling as sick as a parrot when their bank accounts are emptied and they find they have become the victim of identity fraudsters.’
      • ‘It's a fair bet that the husband was sick as a parrot when he found out he had missed the first half of the season.’
      • ‘I must admit when Wakerdine suffered his groin injury so soon after the transfer of Edmunds I was feeling as sick as a parrot, but then we've always had a strong reserve line-up so even then I was hoping for a result.’
      • ‘‘The only thing that has made Ciarán sick as a parrot is Ireland's defeat against Spain in the World Cup,’ said Margaret.’
      • ‘‘I really am, as the old cliché goes, sick as a parrot because I really do think it was three points missed and at this stage of the season we need three points, nothing more, nothing less,’ he said.’
  • sick to the teeth (or back teeth) of

    • Extremely annoyed about or tired of.

      ‘I'm just sick to the back teeth of waiting’
      • ‘She is sick to the teeth, she says, with snails eating everything.’
      • ‘I love football and the games themselves were good, unfortunately I was sick to the back teeth of all the hype in the media.’
      • ‘The actions of these youths are very intimidating and we're all sick to the teeth of it.’
      • ‘"I was sick to the teeth of office politics and knew that if I didn't make the break I never would," said Kay.’
      • ‘We're sick to the back teeth of your pious pontificating.’
      • ‘We are all sick to the back teeth of vandalism in the town.’
      • ‘I wish they'd leave me alone because, to be quite honest, I'm sick to the back teeth of them.’
      • ‘People are sick to the teeth of what's going on, and spoke out.’
      dissatisfied, disgruntled, fed up, disaffected, discontent, malcontent, unhappy, aggrieved, displeased, resentful, envious
      View synonyms
  • the sick man of —

    • A country that is politically or economically unsound, especially in comparison with its neighbours.

      ‘the country had been the sick man of Europe for too long’
      • ‘If we are not careful, Britain will again be the sick man of Europe, and the progress of the last 20 years will be lost.’
      • ‘The Bulldogs on the other hand, now stand out as the sick man of the AFL.’
      • ‘Today, Europe again looks like the sick man of the global economy.’
      • ‘Its rise from the sick man of Europe to the rich man in less than a generation is an amazing story, says Friedman.’
      • ‘Sema is best left alone until it can demonstrate that it is no longer the sick man of the industry.’
      • ‘‘For an emergent tiger economy, the Philippines is back once more to being the sick man of Asia,’ she said.’
      • ‘Britain remained the sick man of Europe, its output per worker growing by only 2.5 per cent per annum.’
      • ‘For too long, Germany has faced the ignominy of being the sick man of Europe.’
      • ‘Many is the occasion that I have lauded the economy's transformation from the dire days of the 1970s, when Britain was the sick man of Europe.’
      • ‘Indonesia remains the sick man of ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations).’
  • sick to death of

    • informal Annoyed about or bored with (someone or something) and unwilling to put up with them any longer.

      ‘I am sick to death of being told that this is our fault’
  • sick to one's stomach

    • 1Nauseous.

      • ‘Radiation and chemotherapy can make you feel tired and sick to your stomach.’
      • ‘Drink too much - as little as two cups - and you may feel restless, nervous, unable to sleep, even sick to your stomach.’
      • ‘Regular birth control pills make some women feel sick to their stomach.’
      • ‘That feeling in her stomach was back and she felt weak and sick to her stomach.’
      • ‘At what point does the rollercoaster ride stop being a thrill and simply make you sick to your stomach?’
      • ‘If you use IV medicines, you might feel sleepy or a little sick to your stomach.’
      • ‘My hands were wrapped around my stomach, for some reason I was sick to my stomach.’
      • ‘I catch a glimpse of Lizzy through their living room window, and I get sick to my stomach.’
      • ‘The pain is worse but I am no longer as sick to my stomach as I have been for the last several months.’
      • ‘Getting sick to your stomach and throwing up when nervous is your body's way of telling you that you are over-stressed.’
      1. 1.1Disgusted.
        ‘I felt sick to my stomach reading that filth’
        • ‘After reading that interview and never once seeing a pointed question, I am sick to my stomach.’
        • ‘This disgusted her and made her sick to her stomach.’
        • ‘You know you might get a fever and maybe even feel sick to your stomach after that.’
        • ‘It was disgusting and I felt sick to my stomach but I heard a pair of voices coming from inside.’
        • ‘So I look at those pictures, and I feel sick to my stomach.’
        • ‘All of a sudden, this devil masquerading as a human being had a face, and it made me sick to my stomach.’
        • ‘I felt sick to my stomach, I was trembling with disgust.’
        • ‘Now I feel sick to my stomach and I can't seem to stop hating my friend.’
        • ‘This system is wrecking children's lives and it makes me sick to my stomach.’
        • ‘Maybe next year's renewal rates won't make you sick to your stomach.’


Old English sēoc ‘affected by illness’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch ziek and German siech.




Main definitions of sick in English

: sick1sick2


(also sic)


[with object]sick something on
  • 1Set a dog on.

    ‘the plan was to surprise the heck out of the grizzly by sicking the dog on him’
    • ‘Sure some of the people would run after us with their guns or throw rocks or sick their dogs on us but it was fun.’
    • ‘Sparrow was so offended, he recalled, that ‘I nearly sicked my dog on him,’ but his mother intervened, establishing a selling price that was ‘high enough, so I wasn't mad at her.’’
    1. 1.1sick someone oninformal Set someone to pursue, keep watch on, or accompany (another)
      ‘who sicked those two on to us?’
      • ‘I swear if you say anything mean to him I'll beat you up… okay, so maybe it won't be me, per se, but I'll sick Danny on you.’
      • ‘At any rate, there's not a lot I can do right now to change things aside from defecting to the government and sicking them on the reformists.’
      • ‘She will learn her place even if we have to sick Longmeyer on her.’
      • ‘He looked back at the girl, ‘If you don't pay me the rest of the money for that drink I'll sick Jumper on you’.’
      • ‘She shook her head, ‘Remember that it was Gwen is the one who sicked her on me.’’
      • ‘If I don't update by next Thursday, try all you want to sick Miah on me.’
      • ‘Roses are red, violets are blue, if you steal from me, I'll sick Dayle on you!’
      • ‘I didn't expect yesterday's comments on the ALP to go unanswered, dear subscribers - even before the editor sicked you onto me.’
      • ‘Just sick Drew on him, he strikes me as the protective type, as if you need protecting with those biceps.’
      • ‘Or I'll sick Selene on you, who is completely psychotic in case you didn't notice’


Mid 19th century: dialect variant of seek.