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



    BrE BrE//ɪl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪl//
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  1. 1(especially in compounds) badly or in an unpleasant way The animals had been grossly ill-treated.
  2. 2(formal) badly; not in an acceptable way They live in an area ill served by public transport.
  3. 3(formal) only with difficulty We're wasting valuable time, time we can ill afford. I can ill afford the time or the money for a holiday.
  4. Word OriginMiddle English (in the senses ‘wicked’, ‘malevolent’, ‘harmful’, and ‘difficult’): from Old Norse illr ‘evil, difficult’, of unknown origin.Idioms
    speak/think ill of somebody
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    (formal) to say or think bad things about somebody Don't speak ill of the dead.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: ill