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 phrase “under the weather” is an English idiom that is commonly used to describe a person who is feeling ill, or not in good health. It can also be used to describe a person who is feeling negative emotions such as sadness, depression, or anxiety.


The origin of this phrase is not certain, as there are multiple theories as to where it came from. One theory suggests that it comes from the phrase “taking the weather”, which was a term used by sailors to describe the feeling they got when they were seasick. Another theory suggests that the phrase originated from the concept of weathering, which is when animals or plants are exposed to the elements, like wind and rain, and become damaged or weakened. The phrase can also be traced back to the Middle Ages, when it was used to describe someone who was suffering from a fever or other sickness.


The phrase “under the weather” is most commonly used in conversation, or as a way to explain why someone is feeling ill. It is also used in writing to describe a person’s emotional state, such as in a novel or movie. In addition, it can be used as a figure of speech to describe someone who is feeling down or depressed.

Example Sentences

  • I'm feeling a bit under the weather today, so I'm going to take it easy.
  • He's been feeling under the weather lately and hasn't been himself.
  • My friend has been under the weather since her breakup.

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

The Global Spread of English Idioms

As English has become a global language, its idioms have spread far beyond the borders of the UK and USA. For instance, the idiom "beat around the bush" has equivalents in many other languages, such as "tourner autour du pot" in French and "dar vueltas al asunto" in Spanish. Meanwhile, other idioms have been adapted for local contexts, such as the Russian idiom "?? ???? ???????" (ne svoya rubashka), which translates to "not one's own shirt," meaning to be in an uncomfortable or unfamiliar situation.


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