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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Ail \Ail\ ([=a]l), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Ailed ([=a]ld); p. pr. & vb. n. Ailing.] [OE. eilen, ailen, AS. eglan to trouble, pain; akin to Goth. us-agljan to distress, agls troublesome, irksome, aglo, aglitha, pain, and prob. to E. awe. [root]3.] To affect with pain or uneasiness, either physical or mental; to trouble; to be the matter with; -- used to express some uneasiness or affection, whose cause is unknown; as, what ails the man? I know not what ails him.

What aileth thee, Hagar?
--Gen. xxi. 17.

Note: It is never used to express a specific disease. We do not say, a fever ails him; but, something ails him.


vb. (en-past of: ail)

Usage examples of "ailed".

Lucrezia, remarking the state I was in, touched my arm, enquiring what ailed me.

Something ailed him, and the headaches from which he suffered were more than the result of fatigue.

I understand now that Charlie was very ill -- far worse than I could possibly know at the time -- and that what ailed him could have led to quite possibly fatal mastoid infection, and was at the moment sinus infection of a kind that cried for immediate attention.

I had no medicine for him and he had to fall back on the bottle, which was the only medicine both of us knew for what ailed him.

It seems that he simply sat and stared at her until she could stand it no longer, and wept a lot more and at last took hold of herself and asked if he didn't want her to tell him what ailed her?

What ailed her, and what I could not hope to explain to her, was that she was body and soul an heiress.

Nor, though I resented his presence in my bed, did I have quite the determination to turn him out, for he was utterly miserable and his mental distress was of a character that I could not brush aside as merely a symptom of what ailed him.

Phyllida scuffed her sand ailed feet happily in the shingle and wished the day would last for ever.

Inoperable, they had said, and sent her home again under the care of her doctor and with instructions to Suzannah not to tell her aunt what ailed her.

Often some of the beasts looked sickly, and I wondered what ailed them.

Ugly Bird had seen me spend my silver money, the silver money that ailed Mr.

Malipiero, noticing the change in my countenance, enquired what ailed me, and longing to unburden my heart, I told him all that had happened.

The night passed off without my eyes being visited by sleep, and feeling weak and low I thought I would wait to see what ailed me, and refused to have my dinner, sending word that I was still very unwell.