Why was clemency trending last week?


[sik-uh n] /ˈsɪk ən/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to make or become sick.
Origin of sicken
1150-1200; Middle English seknen, sicnen; cognate with Old Norse sjūkna. See sick1, -en1
Related forms
resicken, verb
unsickened, adjective
repulse, revolt, disgust, upset. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sicken
  • Private sector employers are starting to reconsider the benefits they are able to pay if employees sicken or die in service.
  • Unlike humans, who can be infected with tuberculosis for years, mongooses appear to sicken and die immediately.
  • The narrator tries to invent a new language that won't sicken people.
  • Feces is filthy and any unknowing pedestrian can track this stuff into their house and sicken everyone.
  • But the desire not to sicken or offend the noncombatant public should not be among them.
  • Avoid local tap water, especially in developing countries, since the water may contain foreign bodies that can sicken a newcomer.
  • During the summer and autumn, many colonists began to sicken and die.
  • But unlike the bird, they won't sicken or die when exposed to the chemicals.
  • Food-borne illnesses sicken one in four people every year.
  • Scientists do not know whether the bound portion of the toxin can sicken people.
British Dictionary definitions for sicken


to make or become sick, nauseated, or disgusted
(intransitive) often foll by for. to show symptoms (of an illness)
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 sicken

c.1200, "to become ill," from sick (adj.) + -en (1). Transitive sense of "to make sick" is recorded from 1610s. Related: Sickened; sickening. The earlier verb was simply sick (Old English seocan) "to be ill, fall ill."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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