Idiom:  under the weather

Illustration of 'Under the Weather' Idiom: Sick man on sofa in front of open window with stormy weather outside. "I can't believe I'm feeling under the weather on my birthday. It's so unfair."


Idiom:  under the weather

  • feeling sick, especially sick with the flu or a common cold


The expression 'under the weather' describes someone who is not feeling well and is experiencing symptoms of illness, such as having a cold, aches and pains, or just generally not feeling their best.

Frequency of usage: This is a very common way to explain that you're not feeling physically well.

Polite expression:  This idiom is also useful for conveying the idea of illness without having to provide a description of exactly which illness the person is suffering from. It's just a general phrase that enables a person to keep the specific details private. So, if you think someone might be unwell, you could use it to politely ask someone if they are feeling okay or use it to tell others that someone is unwell.

For example, when I worked for a travel company one of my team members called to tell me she was suffering from terrible morning sickness (nausea) because of her pregnancy. At this point, no one except myself and the HR director knew she was pregnant. So, I let the team know that our team member was feeling under the weather that morning but might come in later in the day if she felt better. It's an expression that helped respect her privacy.

Example sentences

— I called in sick to work today because I was feeling under the weather.

— No, it’s nothing serious I just feel under the weather today.

— My son did not go to school today because he was under the weather.

— I was really under the weather last week and thought I had the flu but it was actually allergies.

— Jack is under the weather so we need someone else to facilitate today's discussion.

— I haven't been under the weather in months since I've been taking good care of myself and getting rest.

— Unfortunately, we were all under the weather during the cruise so it was a miserable "vacation."

— If Sharon's feeling under the weather, let's postpone and meet next week for lunch.

— It's better you don't come over tonight. Our kids are under the weather and we don't want to spread the germs.

— I'm a little under the weather but I'm still trying to do my daily steps and activity. I don't want to break my Apple watch streak.

— If my daughter is still under the weather tomorrow, we'll take her to the doctor.

— I recommend taking this decongestant before going to bed if you're under the weather. It will definitely help you sleep.

— Is Sarah coming to the party tonight?" "No, she's feeling under the weather and decided to stay home.

— Even though I was under the weather, my friends surprised me with a get-well-soon party. It was a nice gesture but I just wanted to be alone and sleep!

— Aww, you look really under the weather today. Can I get you anything?

— I'm sorry I had to cancel our plans. I'm just a little under the weather right now.

— My son's excuse for not finishing his report on time was that his computer was feeling under the weather.

— Jon's not coming tonight. He just sent me a text message: "Hey, I won't be at the game tonight. Feeling under the weather. Go team!"


  • run-down
  • got a bug
  • down with the flu/a cold
  • out of commission
  • feeling a bit off
  • out of sorts


  • on top of the world
  • in good shape

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