Meaning of “sick” in the English Dictionary

"sick" in English

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uk /sɪk/ us /sɪk/

sick adjective (ILL)

A2 physically or mentally ill; not well or healthy:

a sick child
a sick cow
My father has been off sick (= not working because of illness) for a long time.
Anyone who could hurt a child like that must be sick (= mentally ill).
The old woman fell/took/was taken sick (= became ill) while she was away and had to come home.
Sarah called in/reported sick (= told her employer that she was unable to go to work because of illness).
figurative High rates of crime are considered by some people to be a sign of a sick society.

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sick adjective (VOMIT)

A2 [ after verb ] feeling ill as if you are going to vomit:

Lucy felt sick the morning after the party.
If you eat any more of that cake, you'll make yourself sick.
be sick

B1 to vomit:

She was sick after she ate too much chocolate.

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sick adjective (UNPLEASANT)

B2 [ after verb ] informal feeling strong unpleasant emotions, especially anger or disgust:

I'm sick at (= unhappy about) not getting that job.
It makes me sick (= makes me very angry) to see people wearing fur coats.
UK informal It's sick-making (= very annoying) that she's being paid so much for doing so little.
I'm sick (and tired/to death) of (= very annoyed about) the way you're behaving.
She was worried sick (= very worried) when her daughter didn't come home on time.
I felt sick (= felt shocked and disgusted) when I heard about the prisoners being beaten.

[ after verb ] informal cruel or offensive:

Joan was not amused by the sick joke her brother told.


uk /sɪk/ us /sɪk/

(Definition of “sick” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sick" in American English

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us /sɪk/

sick adjective (ILL)

physically or mentally ill; not well or healthy:

We’ve got a sick cat.
I feel sick.
Only a sick mind could think of such things.
He’s out sick (= absent because of illness).
Samantha called in sick (= called to say she was ill and not coming to work).

sick adjective (VOMITING)

[ -er/-est only ] feeling as if you are going to vomit:

She was so nervous she got sick.
I feel sick to my stomach (= likely to vomit).

sick adjective (UNPLEASANT)

[ -er/-est only ] causing or experiencing unpleasant feelings:

Michelle is sick about not getting that job.
I can’t believe she lost the election – it just makes me sick.

(Definition of “sick” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"sick" in Business English

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uk /sɪk/ us

WORKPLACE, HR not feeling well:

Peter called in sick this morning.
off/out sick She's been out sick for a week.

a sick business, economy, etc. is having a lot of problems that are difficult to solve:

Low interest rates often signal that an economy is sick.
New executives were brought in to turn the sick company around.

(Definition of “sick” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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