Definition of ill adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɪl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪl//
    Being ill
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  1. 1  (especially British English) (usually North American English sick) [not usually before noun] suffering from an illness or disease; not feeling well Her father is seriously ill in St Luke's hospital. She was taken ill suddenly. We both started to feel ill shortly after the meal. Uncle Harry is terminally ill with cancer (= he will die from his illness). the mentally ill (= people with a mental illness) (formal) He fell ill and died soon after. CollocationsIllnessesBecoming ill catch a cold/​an infectious disease/​the flu/(British English) flu/​pneumonia/​a virus/(informal) a bug get (British English) ill/(North American English) sick/​a disease/​AIDS/​breast cancer/​a cold/​the flu/(British English) flu/​a migraine come down with a cold/​the flu/(British English) flu contract a deadly disease/​a serious illness/​HIV/​AIDS be infected with a virus/​a parasite/​HIV develop cancer/​diabetes/​a rash/​an ulcer/​symptoms of hepatitis have a heart attack/​a stroke provoke/​trigger/​produce an allergic reaction block/​burst/​rupture a blood vessel damage/​sever a nerve/​an artery/​a tendonBeing ill feel (British English) ill/​sick/​nauseous/​queasy be running (British English) a temperature/(North American English) a fever have a head cold/​diabetes/​heart disease/​lung cancer/​a headache/(British English) a high temperature/(North American English) a fever suffer from asthma/​malnutrition/​frequent headaches/​bouts of depression/​a mental disorder be laid up with/ (British English) be in bed with a cold/​the flu/(British English) flu/​a migraine nurse a cold/​a headache/​a hangover battle/​fight cancer/​depression/​addiction/​alcoholismTreatments examine a patient diagnose a condition/​disease/​disorder be diagnosed with cancer/​diabetes/​schizophrenia prescribe/​be given/​be on/​take drugs/​medicine/​medication/​pills/​painkillers/​antibiotics treat somebody for cancer/​depression/​shock have/​undergo an examination/​an operation/​surgery/​a kidney transplant/​therapy/​chemotherapy/​treatment for cancer have/​be given an injection/(British English) a flu jab/(North American English) a flu shot/​a blood transfusion/​a scan/​an X-ray cure a disease/​an ailment/​cancer/​a headache/​a patient prevent the spread of disease/​further outbreaks/​damage to the lungs be vaccinated against the flu/(British English) flu/​the measles/(British English) measles/​polio/​smallpox enhance/​boost/​confer/​build immunity to a disease see also illness Wordfinderadminister, capsule, dispense, dose, ill, inhaler, medicine, medication, pharmacy, placebo See related entries: Being ill
  2. 2  [usually before noun] bad or harmful He resigned because of ill health (= he was often ill). She suffered no ill effects from the experience. a woman of ill repute (= considered to be immoral)
  3. 3(formal) that brings, or is thought to bring, bad luck a bird of ill omen
  4. Word OriginMiddle English (in the senses ‘wicked’, ‘malevolent’, ‘harmful’, and ‘difficult’): from Old Norse illr ‘evil, difficult’, of unknown origin.Extra examples He was lying ill in bed. His mother is seriously ill in hospital. I can’t eat bananas. They make me ill. Robyn was almost ill with excitement and outrage. She was taken violently ill and had to be put to bed. That type of government corruption makes me ill. They arrive at the hospital ill from malnutrition. a hospice for the terminally ill chronically ill patients the problems faced by mentally ill people He resigned because of ill health. Her father is seriously ill in St Luke’s hospital. I bear you no ill will , but I am simply not in a position to help you. She was known as a woman of ill repute. Uncle Harry is terminally ill with cancer. terminally ill childrenIdioms
    bad/ill feeling (also bad/ill feelings especially in North American English)
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    anger between people, especially after an argument or disagreement There was a lot of bad feeling between the two groups of students.
    feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed I felt ill at ease in such formal clothes.
    it’s an ill wind (that blows nobody any good)
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    (saying) no problem is so bad that it does not bring some advantage to somebody
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: ill