Ask Difference

Sicked vs. Sicced — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on April 25, 2024
"Sicked" generally refers to feeling ill, while "sicced" is used to describe commanding a dog to attack.
Sicked vs. Sicced — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Sicked and Sicced


Key Differences

"Sicked" commonly implies that someone is feeling unwell or nauseated. In contrast, "sicced" specifically denotes instructing a dog or sometimes another animal to attack or pursue.
The term "sicked" is used in expressions like "sick to one's stomach" to describe general illness or discomfort. On the other hand, "sicced" is often used in contexts involving security or hunting, where a dog is set upon a specific target.
"Sicked" can be used metaphorically to describe being overwhelmed or disgusted by something, as in emotionally or mentally distressed. Whereas "sicced" remains largely literal and confined to the action of commanding animals.
"Sicked" derives from the broader term "sick," which encompasses a wide range of meanings from physical illness to an intense dislike. In contrast, "sicced" comes from the command "sic," used to incite animals, primarily dogs, to act.
While "sicked" may appear in varied conversational and literary contexts, indicating poor health or revulsion, "sicced" is almost exclusively used in scenarios where an animal is urged to engage aggressively or defensively.

Comparison Chart


Feeling ill or nauseated.
Commanding a dog to attack.

Usage Context

Health, discomfort.
Hunting, security.


Both literal and metaphorical uses.
Primarily literal.


From "sick" meaning unwell.
From "sic," a command to attack.

Common Phrases

"He was sicked by the food."
"She sicced her dog on the intruder."

Compare with Definitions


Distressed or upset.
The news sicked her deeply.


Incited action against someone.
He sicced his followers on the critics online.


Overcome with disgust.
He was sicked by the corruption he saw.


Set into motion against a target.
They sicced regulatory authorities on the fraudulent businesses.


The smell of the old food sicked him.


Urged to pursue aggressively.
She sicced her lawyer on the company for damages.


Feeling ill.
After the ride, he felt sicked by the motion.


Provoked into engagement.
The debate sicced fans into a frenzy.


Made uncomfortable.
She was sicked by the cold, damp weather.


Commanded a dog to attack.
The officer sicced the K-9 on the fleeing suspect.


Variant of sic2.


To set upon; attack.


To set upon; attack.


To urge or incite to hostile action; set
Sicced the dogs on the intruders.


To urge or incite to hostile action; set
Sicced the dogs on the intruders.


Simple past tense and past participle of sic


Simple past tense and past participle of sick

Common Curiosities

How is "sicced" used in a sentence?

"Sicced" is used to describe setting a dog or animal to attack, e.g., "The farmer sicced his dog on the trespasser."

Can "sicked" be used metaphorically?

Yes, "sicked" can describe emotional or mental distress beyond physical illness.

What does "sicked" mean?

"Sicked" generally means feeling ill or disgusted.

What is the origin of "sicked"?

It is derived from the adjective "sick," which means unwell or disgusted.

Is "sicced" only applicable to dogs?

Primarily, though it can apply to other animals trained to follow such commands.

Are there other meanings for "sicked"?

It can also mean being overwhelmed by negative feelings or circumstances.

Which term is more commonly used?

"Sicked" is more common in everyday language related to health and discomfort.

What is the origin of "sicced"?

It comes from the command "sic," used to direct animals in an attack.

Are there other meanings for "sicced"?

It can extend metaphorically to any instance of instigating action or confrontation.

Which term has a narrower usage?

"Sicced" has a more specialized usage, typically involving animals and commands.

Can "sicked" describe physical reactions?

Yes, such as nausea or a feeling of being physically unwell.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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