Etymology: Middle English, from Old Norse illr
Date: 12th century
a. chiefly Scottish immoral, vicious
b. resulting from, accompanied by, or indicative of an evil or malevolent intention <ill deeds> c. attributing evil or an objectionable quality <held an ill opinion of his neighbors> 2. a. causing suffering or distress <ill weather> b. (comparative also iller) (1) not normal or sound <ill health> (2) not in good health; also nauseated 3. a. not suited to circumstances or not to one's advantage ; unlucky <an ill omen> b. involving difficulty ; hard 4. a. not meeting an accepted standard <ill manners> b. archaic notably unskillful or inefficient 5. unfriendly, hostile <ill feeling> II. adverb (worse; worst) Date: 13th century 1. a. with displeasure or hostility b. in a harsh manner c. so as to reflect unfavorably <spoke ill of the neighbors> 2. in a reprehensible manner 3. hardly, scarcely <can ill afford such extravagances> 4. a. in an unfortunate manner ; badly, unluckily <ill fares the land…where wealth accumulates, and men decay — Oliver Goldsmith> b. in a faulty, inefficient, insufficient, or unpleasant manner — often used in combination <the methods used may be ill-adapted to the aims in view — R. M. Hutchins> III. noun Date: 13th century 1. the reverse of good ; evil 2. a. misfortune, distress b. (1) ailment, sickness (2) something that disturbs or afflicts ; trouble <economic and social ills> 3. something that reflects unfavorably <spoke no ill of him> IV. abbreviation illustrated; illustration; illustrator
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.