A a


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [eyl]
    • /eɪl/
    • /eɪl/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [eyl]
    • /eɪl/

Definitions of ail word

  • verb ail If something ails a group or area of activity, it is a problem or source of trouble for that group or for people involved in that activity. 3
  • verb ail If something ails someone, they are ill. 3
  • verb ail to trouble; afflict 3
  • verb ail to feel unwell 3
  • verb transitive ail to be the cause of pain or distress to; trouble 3
  • intransitive verb ail to be in poor health, esp. over a period of time 3

Information block about the term

Origin of ail

First appearance:

before 950
One of the 4% oldest English words
before 950; Middle English ail, eilen, Old English eglan to afflict (cognate with Middle Low German egelen annoy, Gothic -agljan), derivative of egle painful; akin to Gothic agls shameful, Sanskrit aghám evil, pain

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Ail


ail popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 87% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
Most Europeans know this English word. The frequency of it’s usage is somewhere between "mom" and "screwdriver".

ail usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for ail

verb ail

  • bother — If you do not bother to do something or if you do not bother with it, you do not do it, consider it, or use it because you think it is unnecessary or because you are too lazy.
  • afflict — If you are afflicted by pain, illness, or disaster, it affects you badly and makes you suffer.
  • annoy — If someone or something annoys you, it makes you fairly angry and impatient.
  • pain — physical suffering or distress, as due to injury, illness, etc.
  • distress — great pain, anxiety, or sorrow; acute physical or mental suffering; affliction; trouble.

Antonyms for ail

verb ail

  • aid — Aid is money, equipment, or services that are provided for people, countries, or organizations who need them but cannot provide them for themselves.
  • soothe — to tranquilize or calm, as a person or the feelings; relieve, comfort, or refresh: soothing someone's anger; to soothe someone with a hot drink.
  • assist — If you assist someone, you help them to do a job or task by doing part of the work for them.
  • help — to give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy a need; contribute strength or means to; render assistance to; cooperate effectively with; aid; assist: He planned to help me with my work. Let me help you with those packages.
  • please — (used as a polite addition to requests, commands, etc.) if you would be so obliging; kindly: Please come here. Will you please turn the radio off?

Top questions with ail

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See also

Matching words

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