From Old English sēocnes. Synchronically analyzable as sick +‎ -ness.


  • IPA(key): /ˈsɪknɪs/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: sick‧ness


sickness (usually uncountable, plural sicknesses)

  1. The quality or state of being sick or diseased; illness.
    I do lament the sickness of the king. -William Shakespeare
    Trust not too much your now resistless charms; Those, age or sickness soon or late disarms. -Alexander Pope.
    Sickness is a dangerous indulgence at my time of life. -Jane Austen.
  2. Nausea; qualmishness; as, sickness of stomach.
  3. (linguistics) The analogical misuse of a rarer or marked grammatical case in the place of a more common or unmarked case.
    • 1997. Michael B. Smith. Quirky Case in Icelandic, § 4.7
      We can now return to the question of how we treat the phenomenon of dative sickness (the possibility of substituting dative in place of accusative on the experiencer nominal) in Icelandic.


Derived termsEdit


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