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unwell +‎ -ness


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ʌnˈwɛl.nɪs/, /ʌnˈwɛl.nəs/


unwellness (uncountable)

  1. The state or characteristic of being unwell; a feeling of slight to moderate sickliness.
    • 1887, Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, ch. 5:
      During the three years and eight months whilst we resided in London, I did less scientific work, though I worked as hard as I possibly could, than during any other equal length of time in my life. This was owing to frequently recurring unwellness, and to one long and serious illness.

Usage notes[edit]

  • "Unwellness" denotes a state of being ill, but tends to suggest a lesser degree of ailment than would be indicated by the terms "illness" or "sickness".