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Webster 1913 Edition


Ill

Ill

(ĭl)
,
Adj.
[The regular comparative and superlative are wanting, their places being supplied by worse and worst, from another root.]
[OE.
ill
,
ille
, Icel.
illr
; akin to Sw.
illa
, adv., Dan.
ilde
, adv.]
1.
Contrary to good, in a physical sense; contrary or opposed to advantage, happiness, etc.; bad; evil; unfortunate; disagreeable; unfavorable.
Neither is it
ill
air only that maketh an
ill
seat, but
ill
ways,
ill
markets, and
ill
neighbors.
Bacon.
There ’s some
ill
planet reigns.
Shakespeare
2.
Contrary to good, in a moral sense; evil; wicked; wrong; iniquitious; naughtly; bad; improper.
Of his own body he was ill, and gave
The clergy
ill
example.
Shakespeare
3.
Sick; indisposed; unwell; diseased; disordered;
as,
ill
of a fever
.
I am in health, I breathe, and see thee
ill
.
Shakespeare
4.
Not according with rule, fitness, or propriety; incorrect; rude; unpolished; inelegant.
That 's an
ill
phrase.
Shakespeare
Syn. – Bad; evil; wrong; wicked; sick; unwell.

Ill

,
Noun.
1.
Whatever annoys or impairs happiness, or prevents success; evil of any kind; misfortune; calamity; disease; pain;
as, the
ills
of humanity
.
Who can all sense of others'
ills
escape
Is but a brute at best in human shape.
Tate.
That makes us rather bear those
ills
we have
Than fly to others that we know not of.
Shakespeare
2.
Whatever is contrary to good, in a moral sense; wickedness; depravity; iniquity; wrong; evil.
Strong virtue, like strong nature, struggles still,
Exerts itself, and then throws off the
ill
.
Dryden.

Ill

,
adv.
In a ill manner; badly; weakly.
How
ill
this taper burns!
Shakespeare
Ill
fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates and men decay.
Goldsmith.
Ill, like above, well, and so, is used before many participal adjectives, in its usual adverbal sense. When the two words are used as an epithet preceding the noun qualified they are commonly hyphened; in other cases they are written separatively; as, an ill-educated man; he was ill educated; an ill-formed plan; the plan, however ill formed, was acceptable. Ao, also, the following: ill-affected or ill affected, ill-arranged or ill arranged, ill-assorted or ill assorted, ill-boding or ill boding, ill-bred or ill bred, ill-conditioned, ill-conducted, ill-considered, ill-devised, ill-disposed, ill-doing, ill-fairing, ill-fated, ill-favored, ill-featured, ill-formed, ill-gotten, ill-imagined, ill-judged, ill-looking, ill-mannered, ill-matched, ill-meaning, ill-minded, ill-natured, ill-omened, ill-proportioned, ill-provided, ill-required, ill-sorted, ill-starred, ill-tempered, ill-timed, ill-trained, ill-used, and the like.

Webster 1828 Edition


Ill

ILL

,
Noun.
1.
Bad or evil, in a general sense; contrary to good, physical or moral; applied to things; evil; wicked; wrong; iniquitous; as, his ways are ill; he sets an ill example.
2.
Producing evil or misfortune; as an ill star or planet.
3.
Bad; evil; unfortunate; as an ill end; an ill fate.
4.
Unhealthy; insalubrious; as an ill air or climate.
5.
Cross; crabbed; surly; peevish; as ill nature; ill temper.
6.
Diseased; disordered; sick or indisposed; applied to persons; as, the man is ill; he has been ill a long time; he is ill of a fever.
7.
Diseased; impaired; as an ill state of health.
8.
Discordant; harsh; disagreeable; as an ill sound.
9.
Homely; ugly; as ill looks, or an ill countenance.
10. Unfavorable; suspicious; as when we say, this affair bears an ill look or aspect.
11. Rude; unpolished; as ill breeding; ill manners.
12. Not proper; not regular or legitimate; as an ill expression in grammar.

ILL

,
Noun.
Wickedness; depravity; evil.
Strong virtue, like strong nature, struggles still,
Exerts itself and then throws off the ill.
1.
Misfortune; calamity; evil; disease; pain; whatever annoys or impairs happiness, or prevents success.
Who can all sense of other's ills escape,
Is but a brute at beat in human shape.

ILL

,
adv.
Not well; not rightly or perfectly.
He is ill at ease.
1.
Not easily; with pain or difficulty. He is ill able to sustain the burden.
Ill bears the sex the youthful lovers' fate,
When just approaching to the nuptial state.

ILL

, prefixed to participles of the present tense, and denoting evil or wrong, may be considered as a noun governed by the participle, or as making a part of a compound word; as an ill meaning man, an ill designing man, an ill boding hour; that is, a man meaning ill, an hour boding ill. It is more consonant, however, to the genius of our language, to treat these and similar words as compounds. In some cases, as before the participles of intransitive verbs, ill must be considered as a part of the compound, as in ill-looking. When used before the perfect participle, ill is to be considered as an adverb, or modifying word, or to be treated as a part of the compound; as in ill-bred, ill-governed, ill-fated, ill-favored, ill-formed, ill-minded. In these and all similar connections, it might be well to unite the two words in a compound by a hyphen. As ill may be prefixed to almost any participle, it is needless to attempt to collect a list of such words for insertion.

Definition 2021


ill

ill

See also: 'ill, ill., I'll, and Ill.

English

Adjective

ill (comparative more ill or iller, superlative most ill or illest)

  1. (obsolete) Evil; wicked (of people). [13th-19th c.]
    • Francis Atterbury (1663-1732)
      St. Paul chose to magnify his office when ill men conspired to lessen it.
  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
    • 1959, Georgette Heyer, chapter 1, in The Unknown Ajax:
      [] his lordship was out of humour. That was the way Chollacombe described as knaggy an old gager as ever Charles had had the ill-fortune to serve. Stiff-rumped, that's what he was, always rubbing the rust, or riding grub, like he had been for months past.
  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.
    • 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.

Usage notes

  • The comparative forms iller and illest are used in American English but are less than a quarter as frequent as "more" and "most" forms. The forms iller, illest are quite common in the slang sense "sublime".

Synonyms

Antonyms

Derived terms

Translations

References

  1. Michiel de Vaan, Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the Other Italic Languages, s.v. "ulcus" (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 637.

Adverb

ill (comparative more ill, superlative most 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. Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, 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

Derived terms

Translations

Noun

ill (plural ills)

  1. (often pluralized) Trouble; distress; misfortune; adversity.
    • William Shakespeare
      That makes us rather bear those ills we have / Than fly to others that we know not of.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 4, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Then he commenced to talk, really talk. and inside of two flaps of a herring's fin he had me mesmerized, like Eben Holt's boy at the town hall show. He talked about the ills of humanity, and the glories of health and Nature and service and land knows what all.
    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.
    • John Dryden
      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) PCP, phencyclidine.

Derived terms

  • for good or ill

Translations

References

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

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: eight · modern · medium · #841: ill · eat · et · scene

Anagrams


Scots

Adjective

ill (comparative waur, superlative warst)

  1. ill
  2. bad, evil, wicked
  3. harsh, severe
  4. profane
  5. difficult, troublesome
  6. awkward, unskilled

Adverb

ill (comparative waur, superlative warst)

  1. ill
  2. badly, evilly, wickedly
  3. harshly, severely
  4. profanely
  5. with difficulty
  6. awkwardly, inexpertly

Noun

ill (plural ills)

  1. ill
  2. ill will, malice