Other forms: sicklier; sickliest; sicklily

If you're frequently ill, or often under the weather, you're sickly. A sickly child tends to miss a lot of school.

Sickly people aren't in perfect health — they are prone to coming down with illnesses, or they just generally don't feel well. You can also describe someone as appearing sickly, if their faces are pale and unhealthy-looking. This "habitually ailing" meaning dates from the fourteenth century, and for a brief time it was also used to mean "causing illness."

Definitions of sickly
  1. adjective
    somewhat ill or prone to illness
    “a sickly child”
    synonyms: ailing, indisposed, peaked, poorly, seedy, under the weather, unwell
    ill, sick
    affected by an impairment of normal physical or mental function
  2. adjective
    unhealthy looking
    synonyms: sallow
    not in or exhibiting good health in body or mind
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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘sickly'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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