What does the idiom "under the weather" mean?

under the weather is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression under the weather is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "under the weather"


The idiom “under the weather” is a common phrase used to express that one is feeling ill or unwell. This phrase is often used to describe general feelings of being sick, but it may also indicate something more specific such as a cold, the flu, or a mild case of food poisoning. It can also be used to express feeling emotionally down or depressed.


The phrase “under the weather” originates from the nautical concept of a person being “taken under” when their ship goes through a storm. This phrase dates back to the mid-1800s and was used to express that when a person was “taken under” their normal duties were suspended because of their physical condition.


The phrase “under the weather” is used in casual conversation to express that one is feeling ill or unwell. It is often used in conversations between friends or family as a way to express sympathy or concern for the person who is feeling unwell. It can also be used to lighten the mood in a conversation by downplaying being unwell.

Example Sentences

  • I'm feeling a bit under the weather today, so I'm not sure if I'll make it to the party.
  • My friend has been under the weather for the past few days and I'm worried about her.
  • I'm sorry I'm late, I've been under the weather lately.
  • I hope you're feeling better soon, I hate it when I'm under the weather.

The meanings of the words in the "under the weather" idiom

Beyond the Literal: Figurative Language in Idioms

Idioms often use figurative language to convey a message that is not meant to be taken literally. For instance, the idiom "bite the bullet" means to endure a painful or difficult situation without complaint, while "hold your horses" means to be patient and wait. Other idioms, like "kick the bucket" or "pop your clogs," use euphemisms to talk about death.


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