ill Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “ill” in the English Dictionary

"ill" in British English

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uk   /ɪl/ us   /ɪl/


uk   /ɪl/ us   /ɪl/
literary badly: He treated her very ill.
speak ill of sb formal or old-fashioned
to say unkind things about someone: I realize one shouldn't speak ill of the dead.
augur/bode ill formal or old-fashioned
to be a sign of bad things in the future: This weather bodes ill for the garden party tonight.
can ill afford (to do sth) formal or old-fashioned
If you can ill afford to do something, it will cause problems for you if you do it: We can ill afford to lose another member of staff.


uk   /ɪl/ us   /ɪl/


uk   /ɪl-/ us   /ɪl-/
in a way that is bad or not suitable: ill-prepared an ill-judged remark


uk   /aɪl/ us   /aɪl/
short form of I shall or I will: I'll be there at 6.00.
(Definition of ill from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"ill" in American English

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us   /ɪl/
  • ill adjective (NOT HEALTHY)

comparative worse, superlative worst having a disease or feeling as if your body or mind has been harmed by not being able to work as it should: I felt ill, so I went home.
  • ill adjective (BAD)

[not gradable] bad: Did you experience any ill effects from the treatment?

illadverb [not gradable]

us   /ɪl/
badly, with great difficulty, or certainly not: They could ill afford to lose all that money.

illnoun [C usually plural]

us   /ɪl/
a problem or difficulty: We thought we could solve all the community's ills and we have failed.


us   /ɑɪl/
contraction of I will or I shall: I’ll want to see your tax records. I’ll be on vacation next week.
(Definition of ill from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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