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From Middle English sekenen, equivalent to sick +‎ -en. Cognate with Danish sygne (to pine), Swedish sjukna (to fall ill; become sick), Norwegian sykne, Icelandic sjúkna (to sicken; become sick).



sicken (third-person singular simple present sickens, present participle sickening, simple past and past participle sickened)

  1. (transitive) To make ill.
    The infection will sicken him until amputation is needed.
  2. (intransitive) To become ill.
    I will sicken if I don’t get some more exercise.
    • Francis Bacon
      The judges that sat upon the jail, and those that attended, sickened upon it and died.
  3. (transitive) To fill with disgust or abhorrence.
    His arrogant behaviour sickens me.
  4. (sports) To lower the standing of.
    • 2007, Euan Reedie, Alan Shearer: Portrait Of A Legend - Captain Fantastic, ISBN 178418523X:
      Whenever I get booed by opposition fans it only makes me more determined to sicken them.
    • 2011, Scott Burns, Walter Smith the Ibrox Gaffer: A Tribute to a Rangers Legend:
      But instead of giving up, the Rangers team managed to grab a dramatic later winner from Kenny Miller to sicken St Mirren and lift the cup
    • 2016 September 28, Tom English, “Celtic 3–3 Manchester City”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name)[1], BBC Sport:
      City took control, pinning a tiring Celtic back and threatening to sicken them with a winner.
  5. (intransitive) To be filled with disgust or abhorrence.
    • Shakespeare
      Mine eyes did sicken at the sight.
  6. (intransitive) To become disgusting or tedious.
    • Goldsmith
      The toiling pleasure sickens into pain.
  7. (intransitive) To become weak; to decay; to languish.
    • Alexander Pope
      All pleasures sicken, and all glories sink.





sicken c sicket n sicka, sickna pl

  1. (colloquial) what a; expresses a (often strong) feeling such as surprise, disappointment; liking, disliking
    Sicken dag!
    What a day!