pill

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See also: Pill

English[edit]

Assorted pills

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle Low German or Middle Dutch pille (whence Dutch pil), probably from Latin pilla, pilula.

Noun[edit]

pill ‎(plural pills)

  1. A small, usually cylindrical object designed for easy swallowing, usually containing some sort of medication.
    • 1864, Benjamin Ellis, The Medical Formulary [1]
      Take two pills every hour in the apyrexia of intermittent fever, until eight are taken.
  2. (informal, uncountable, definite, i.e. used with "the") Contraceptive medication, usually in the form of a pill to be taken by a woman; an oral contraceptive pill.
    Jane went on the pill when she left for college.
    She got pregnant one month after going off the pill.
  3. (slang) A comical or entertaining person.
  4. (slang) A contemptible, annoying, or unpleasant person.
    • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter IV:
      You see, he's egging Phyllis on to marry Wilbert Cream. [...] And when a man like that eggs, something has to give, especially when the girl's a pill like Phyllis, who always does what Daddy tells her.
    • 2000, Susan Isaacs, Shining Through [2]
      Instead, I saw a woman in her mid-fifties, who was a real pill; while all the others had managed a decent “So pleased,” or even a plain “Hello,” Ginger just inclined her head, as if she was doing a Queen Mary imitation.
  5. (informal) A small piece of any substance, for example a ball of fibres formed on the surface of a textile by rubbing.
    • 1999, Wally Lamb, I Know This Much Is True [3]
      One sleeve, threadbare and loaded with what my mother called “sweater pills,” hung halfway to the floor.
  6. (archaic, baseball slang) A baseball.
    • 1931, Canadian National Magazine
      "Strike two!" bawled the umpire. I threw the pill back to Tom with a heart which drummed above the noise of the rooters along the side lines.
    • 2002, John Klima, Pitched Battle: 35 of Baseball's Greatest Duels from the Mound [4]
      Mr. Fisher contributed to the Sox effort when he threw the pill past second baseman Rath after Felsch hit him a comebacker.
  7. (firearms, slang) A bullet (projectile).
Synonyms[edit]
  • (small object for swallowing): tablet
  • (bullet): cap
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

pill ‎(third-person singular simple present pills, present participle pilling, simple past and past participle pilled)

  1. (intransitive, textiles) Of a woven fabric surface, to form small matted balls of fiber.
    • 1997, Jo Sharp, Knitted Sweater Style: Inspirations in Color [5]
      During processing, inferior short fibers (which can cause pilling and itching) are removed to enhance the natural softness of the yarn and to improve its wash-and-wear performance.
  2. To form into the shape of a pill.
    Pilling is a skill rarely used by modern pharmacists.
  3. To medicate with pills.
    She pills herself with all sorts of herbal medicines.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Latin pilō ‎(depilate), from pilus ‎(hair).

Verb[edit]

pill ‎(third-person singular simple present pills, present participle pilling, simple past and past participle pilled)

  1. (obsolete) To peel; to remove the outer layer of hair, skin, or bark.
  2. To peel; to make by removing the skin.
    • Bible, Genesis xxx. 37
      [Jacob] pilled white streaks [] in the rods.
  3. To be peeled; to peel off in flakes.
  4. (obsolete) To pillage; to despoil or impoverish.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter iiij, in Le Morte Darthur, book XXI:
      So syr Lucan departed for he was greuously wounded in many places And so as he yede he sawe and herkened by the mone lyght how that pyllars and robbers were comen in to the felde To pylle and robbe many a ful noble knyghte of brochys and bedys of many a good rynge & of many a ryche Iewel / and who that were not deed al oute
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)

Noun[edit]

pill ‎(plural pills)

  1. (obsolete) The peel or skin.
    • Holland
      Some be covered over with crusts, or hard pills, as the locusts.
    • 1682, A perfect school of Instructions for the Officers of the Mouth
      To make Sallet of Lemon pill, or green Citron. You must have your Lemon Pill preserved very green, Rasp it into a Dish, and raise it up lightly with a Fork []

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English *pill, *pyll, from Old English pyll ‎(a pool, pill), from Proto-Germanic *pullijaz ‎(small pool, ditch, creek), diminutive of Proto-Germanic *pullaz ‎(pool, stream), from Proto-Indo-European *bale- ‎(bog, marsh). Cognate with Old English pull ‎(pool, creek), Scots poll ‎(slow moving stream, creek, inlet), Icelandic pollur ‎(pond, pool, puddle). More at pool.

Noun[edit]

pill ‎(plural pills)

  1. (now Britain regional) An inlet on the coast; a small tidal pool or bay.

Estonian[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Noun[edit]

pill ‎(genitive pilli, partitive pilli)

  1. (music) instrument
Declension[edit]
Synonyms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Noun[edit]

pill ‎(genitive pilli, partitive pilli)

  1. (medicine) pill
Declension[edit]
Synonyms[edit]

Scottish Gaelic[edit]

Noun[edit]

pill m

  1. genitive singular of peall