Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Poor health resulting from disease of body or mind; sickness.
  • n. A disease.
  • n. Obsolete Evil; wickedness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An instance of a disease or poor health.
  • n. A state of bad health or disease.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The condition of being ill, evil, or bad; badness; unfavorableness.
  • n. Disease; indisposition; malady; disorder of health; sickness.
  • n. Wrong moral conduct; wickedness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Evilness; badness; wickedness; iniquity; moral perversion.
  • n. A bad or unfavorable state or condition; unfavorableness.
  • n. An attack of sickness; ailment; malady; disease: as, he has recovered from his illness.
  • n. Synonyms Illness, Sickness, Ailment, complaint, disorder. Sick and sickness have been considered until within the present century essentially synonymous with ill and illness. Of late, English usage has tended to restrict sick and sickness to nausea, and American usage has followed it so far as to regard illness as a rather more elegant and less definite term: beyond that it does not seem likely to go. An ailment is generally of small account, comparatively, and local: as, his ailment was only a headache. None of these words represent ordinarily so serious an attack as disease, but illness and sickness may do so. See disease and debility.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. impairment of normal physiological function affecting part or all of an organism

Etymologies

From ill +‎ -ness. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Along with the addiction is the mental illness, systemic poverty, scary lack of parenting skills, and *illness*.

    Conservative Government sets its sights on Insite « knitnut.net

  • Both Meirelles and author Saramago have stated that the title illness is not meant to be taken literally.

    PopMatters

  • So far, the only manifestation of his illness is the fact that he says whatever the hell is on his mind, with no filter.

    Video update : Bev Vincent

  • Your illness is a threat to society, and here we take that sort of threat very seriously.

    Elegance « A Fly in Amber

  • Such people will now require much more expensive treatment, since they only see a doctor once their illness is at emergency-room-stage.

    Matthew Yglesias » Health Care and Wages

  • The first signs of this illness is the vomit itself and symptoms so mortal and expeditious, that many die on the first day; others, on the second or third; it being rare that any escape; nor have the study and effort of many doctors and surgeons, of the fleets or shore, [who have] examined this disease with great diligence, been able to find any medicine to prevent or cure it. 68

    Pestilence and Headcolds: Encountering Illness in Colonial Mexico

  • Often the illness is as much physical as mental - manic depression which I know quite a bit about is basically caused by a chemical imbalance (shortage of lithium) ...

    Being Bennett

  • Things are beginning to look very black against him, and I am convinced his illness is all a sham.

    The Experiences of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective

  • The flock simultaneously screamed and swooned as Way crooned "Cancer," a dirge about a slow death from the title illness, all while backlit with a massive white spotlight and engulfed in a faux smoke haze.

    The Washington Post: National, World & D.C. Area News and Headlines - washingtonpost.com

  • I feared madness, not sickness -- I have a presentiment that Adrian will not die; perhaps this illness is a crisis, and he may recover.

    I.4a

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