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

"sickly" in British English

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sicklyadjective

uk   /ˈsɪk.li/  us   /ˈsɪk.li/
  • sickly adjective (ILL)

weak, ​unhealthy, and often ​sick: a sickly ​child/​plant A sickly ​looking woman ​handed me my ​ticket.
  • sickly adjective (VOMIT)

disapproving causing a ​slightfeeling of ​wanting to ​vomit: A sickly ​smell of ​decayingfish came from the ​dirtyriver. The ​chocolatecake was sickly sweet (= too ​sweet).
  • sickly adjective (TOO EMOTIONAL)

disapproving emotional, in an ​unpleasant or ​embarrassing way: His ​books are sometimes ​accused of sickly sentimentality.
(Definition of sickly from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sickly" in American English

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sicklyadjective

 us   /ˈsɪk·li/
weak and ​unhealthy: He was a sickly ​child.
(Definition of sickly from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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