pill

1 [pil]
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:
1375–1425; late Middle English pille < Middle Low German, Middle Dutch pilleLatin pilula, diminutive of pila ball; see -ule

Dictionary.com Unabridged

pill

2 [pil]
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

pill

3 [pil]
verb (used with object) Archaic.
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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Collins
World English Dictionary
pill1 (pɪl)
 
n
1.  a small spherical or ovoid mass of a medicinal substance, intended to be swallowed whole
2.  informal (sometimes capital) 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
 
vb
7.  (tr) to give pills to
8.  (tr) to make pills of
9.  (intr)
 a.  to form into small balls
 b.  (of a fabric) to form small balls of fibre on its surface through rubbing
10.  slang (tr) to blackball
 
[C15: from Middle Flemish pille, from Latin pilula a little ball, from pila ball]

pill2 (pɪl)
 
vb
1.  archaic, dialect or to peel or skin (something)
2.  archaic to pillage or plunder (a place)
3.  obsolete to make or become bald
 
[Old English pilian, from Latin pilāre to strip]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

pill
1484, from M.Du. or M.L.G. pille, from L. pilula "pill," lit. "little ball," dim. of pila "ball." Slang meaning "boring person" is recorded from 1871. The pill "contraceptive pill" is from 1957. Pill-box "box for holding pills" is first attested 1730; as a small round concrete machine gun nest, it came
into use in WWI. As a type of hat, attested from 1958.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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 Dictionary

pill definition


  1. n.
    the pilla birth control pill. (Always with the in this sense.) : The pill has really changed my life.
  2. n.
    a tobacco cigarette; a marijuana cigarette. : I'll trade you a pill for a match.
  3. n.
    a drug in capsule form. : The doctor prescribed these pills.
  4. n.
    a football. : Fred kicked the pill through the goal and won the game.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

pill

see bitter pill to swallow; sugar the pill.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
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.
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