Ill at Ease

Meaning of Idiom ‘Ill at Ease’

To be ill at ease means to be uneasy, uncomfortable, feel nervous or awkward. 1Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

Usage

“How are you feeling about the new promotion?” asked Betty. “I feel a bit ill at ease but I’m excited,” said Felicia.

“I always feel ill at ease in large groups of people.”

Origin

Used since around 1300 as the opposite of at ease (at one’s ease): comfortable, relaxed, not embarrassed or nervous, the word ill in “ill at ease” is used in its adverbial sense to mean poorly, badly, imperfectly, etc. 3Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

More Idioms Starting with I

More At Idioms

More Ease Idioms

More Ill Idioms

This page contains one or more affiliate links. See full affiliate disclosure.

Sources   [ + ]

1. Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.
2, 3. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.