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sickly

[sik-lee] /ˈsɪk li/
adjective, sicklier, sickliest.
1.
not strong; unhealthy; ailing.
2.
of, connected with, or arising from ill health:
a sickly complexion.
3.
marked by the prevalence of ill health, as a region:
the epidemic left the town sickly.
4.
causing sickness.
6.
maudlin and insipid; mawkish:
sickly sentimentality.
7.
faint or feeble, as light or color.
adverb
8.
in a sick or sickly manner.
verb (used with object), sicklied, sicklying.
9.
to cover with a sickly hue.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English siklich, sekly (adj.). See sick1, -ly
Related forms
sickliness, noun
Synonyms
1. frail, weak, puny, sick, feeble, infirm.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for sickly
  • His face possesses gentle features, but it is sickly pale.
  • He was sickly when he was smaller and always cold and shivering.
  • It's much harder to laugh off a nasty remark when you lack job security or the face by your name is puke-green or sickly purple.
  • The high price of oil and a sickly economy have retailers dispensing with frustrating plastic packaging.
  • The villain of the piece is trying to get his clutches on a valuable piece of property owned by his sickly stepbrother.
  • But it doesn't venture into corny or sickly sweet terrain.
  • The seat remained empty for the whole flight with the sickly scent wafting around.
  • The sickly sweat smell they give off is something you never forget.
  • Even a sickly weakling can do it, if it can successfully mate enough.
  • Genetic drift may eat away at the stability of our proteins until they are overwhelmed, leaving us a sickly species.
British Dictionary definitions for sickly

sickly

/ˈsɪklɪ/
adjective -lier, -liest
1.
disposed to frequent ailments; not healthy; weak
2.
of, relating to, or caused by sickness
3.
(of a smell, taste, etc) causing revulsion or nausea
4.
(of light or colour) faint or feeble
5.
mawkish; insipid: sickly affectation
adverb
6.
in a sick or sickly manner
Derived Forms
sickliness, noun
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 sickly
adj.

late 14c., "ill, invalid, habitually ailing," from sick (adj.) + -ly (1). Meaning "causing sickness" in any sense is from c.1600. Related: Sickliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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