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pill1

[pil] /pɪl/
noun
1.
a small globular or rounded mass of medicinal substance, usually covered with a hard coating, that is to be swallowed whole.
2.
something unpleasant that has to be accepted or endured:
Ingratitude is a bitter pill.
3.
Slang. a tiresomely disagreeable person.
4.
Sports Slang. a ball, especially a baseball or golf ball.
5.
the pill, birth-control pill.
6.
pills, British Slang. billiards.
verb (used with object)
7.
to dose with pills.
8.
to form or make into pills.
9.
Slang. to blackball.
verb (used without object)
10.
to form into small, pill-like balls, as the fuzz on a wool sweater.
Compare depill.
Idioms
11.
Take a chill pill!, Disparaging Slang. chill pill (def 2).
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English pille < Middle Low German, Middle Dutch pilleLatin pilula, diminutive of pila ball; see -ule

pill2

[pil] /pɪl/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
1.
British Dialect. to peel.
2.
Obsolete. to become or cause to become bald.
Origin
before 1100; Middle English pilen, Old English pilian to skin, peel < Latin pilāre to strip (said of hair). See pile3

pill3

[pil] /pɪl/
verb (used with object), Archaic.
1.
to rob, plunder, or pillage.
Origin
1150-1200; Middle English; probably conflation of pill2 with Middle French piller (see pillage)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for pill
  • If it's prescription pill bottles, it's nursing homes.
  • Video art on the other hand can be an intellectually harder pill to swallow.
  • Science has not fully parsed its workings, much less found a pill to ward it off.
  • Consider taking a pill to help with your bizarre expectations.
  • The poem was intended for the king's perusal, and thus the pill had to be gilded in order that it might be accepted.
  • The ingredients were combined using a traditional mortar and pestle, and then shaped into the early pill's typical size.
  • However, a few washes will cause it to pill a little bit which may be of concern since there is less material to begin with.
  • They do pill at the end of sleeves with extensive use as other have commented below.
  • The fleece is soft, doesn't pill and the zippers work well.
  • The pill-shaped mealybugs suck sap from the crops-a main ingredient of tapioca-causing them to shrivel and die.
British Dictionary definitions for pill

pill1

/pɪl/
noun
1.
a small spherical or ovoid mass of a medicinal substance, intended to be swallowed whole
2.
(sometimes capital) (informal) the pill, an oral contraceptive
3.
something unpleasant that must be endured (esp in the phrase bitter pill to swallow)
4.
(slang) a ball or disc
5.
a small ball of matted fibres that forms on the surface of a fabric through rubbing
6.
(slang) an unpleasant or boring person
verb
7.
(transitive) to give pills to
8.
(transitive) to make pills of
9.
(intransitive)
  1. to form into small balls
  2. (of a fabric) to form small balls of fibre on its surface through rubbing
10.
(transitive) (slang) to blackball
See also pills
Word Origin
C15: from Middle Flemish pille, from Latin pilula a little ball, from pila ball

pill2

/pɪl/
verb
1.
(archaic or dialect) to peel or skin (something)
2.
(archaic) to pillage or plunder (a place)
3.
(obsolete) to make or become bald
Word Origin
Old English pilian, from Latin pilāre to strip
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pill
n.

"small ball or round mass of medicine," c.1400, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German pille and Middle French pile, all from Latin pilula "pill," literally "little ball," diminutive of pila "a ball, playing ball," said to be related to pilus "hair" if the original notion was "hairball." Figurative sense "something disagreeable that must be swallowed" is from 1540s; slang meaning "boring person" is recorded from 1871. The pill "contraceptive pill" is from 1957.

v.

1736, "to dose on pills," from pill (n.). From 1882 as "to form into pills." Related: Pilled; pilling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pill in Medicine

pill (pĭl)
n.

  1. A small pellet or tablet of medicine, often coated, taken by swallowing whole or by chewing.

  2. An oral contraceptive.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for pill

pill

noun
  1. A boring, disagreeable person; a PAIN IN THE ASS: Oh, don't be a pill, Valerie (1871+)
  2. A baseball or golf ball (1906+)
  3. An opium pellet for smoking (1887+ Narcotics)
  4. A Nembutal2 capsule; nimby (1950s+ Narcotics)
  5. A bomb, cannonball, bullet, etc: He was drinking coffee when the big pill came down (1626+)
Related Terms

cook up a pill, pep pill


pill

noun phrase

Any oral contraceptive for women: now that the joint and the pill are with us


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with pill
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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