• WordNet 3.6
    • n pill a dose of medicine in the form of a small pellet
    • n pill something that resembles a tablet of medicine in shape or size
    • n pill a contraceptive in the form of a pill containing estrogen and progestin to inhibit ovulation and so prevent conception
    • n pill something unpleasant or offensive that must be tolerated or endured "his competitor's success was a bitter pill to take"
    • n pill a unpleasant or tiresome person
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Human birth control pills work on gorillas
    • Pill A medicine in the form of a little ball, or small round mass, to be swallowed whole.
    • Pill Figuratively, something offensive or nauseous which must be accepted or endured.
    • n Pill The peel or skin. "Some be covered over with crusts, or hard pills , as the locusts."
    • v. i Pill To be peeled; to peel off in flakes.
    • Pill To deprive of hair; to make bald.
    • Pill To peel; to make by removing the skin. "Jacob pilled white streaks . . . in the rods."
    • v. t. & i Pill To rob; to plunder; to pillage; to peel. See Peel, to plunder. "Pillers and robbers were come in to the field to pill and to rob."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • pill To rob; plunder; pillage.
    • pill To rob; practise robbery; plunder.
    • pill To deprive of hair; make bald. Compare pilled.
    • pill To peel; strip; form by stripping off the skin or bark.
    • pill To peel; come off in flakes.
    • n pill Peel; skin; rind; outer covering.
    • n pill The refuse of a hawk's prey.
    • n pill A globular or ovoid mass of medicinal substance, of a size convenient for swallowing.
    • n pill Hence Something unpleasant that has to be accepted or (metaphorically) swallowed: usually qualified by bitter.
    • n pill A disagreeable or objectionable person.
    • n pill plural A doctor or surgeon.
    • n pill In varnish-making, the cooked mass of linseed-oil and gum before turpentine is added to thin it down and complete the varnish.
    • pill To form into pills.
    • pill To dose with pills.
    • pill To reject by vote; blackball.
    • n pill A small creek; one of the channels through which the drainings of a marsh enter a river.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Pill pil a little ball of medicine: anything nauseous which must be accepted:
    • v.t Pill (slang) to blackball
    • v.t., v.i Pill pil to strip, peel: to deprive of hair
    • n Pill (Spens.) skin
    • v.t Pill to rob or plunder
    • n Pill pil (slang) a doctor: a disagreeable person
    • ***


  • Robert Louis Stevenson
    “Some people swallow the universe like a pill; they travel on through the world, like smiling images pushed from behind.”
  • Joe E. Lewis
    “I told my doctor I get very tired when I go on a diet, so he gave me pep pills. Know what happened? I ate faster.”
  • Joan Welsh
    Joan Welsh
    “A man's health can be judged by which he takes two at a time -- pills or stairs.”
  • Sir Samuel Garth
    Sir Samuel Garth
    “Some fell by laudanum, and some by steel, and death in ambush lay in every pill.”


Bitter pill to swallow - A bitter pill to swallow is something that is hard to accept.
Poison pill - A poison pill is a strategy designed to prevent a company from being take over.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. pilute, L. pilula, a pill, little ball, dim. of L. pila, a ball. Cf. Piles
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. pilule—L. pilula, dim. of pĭla, a ball.


In literature:

It appears to be a pill of the usual dimensions.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, March 11, 1893" by Various
The Pill-Doctor is going to take one of his own preparations.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, March 25, 1893" by Various
It would certainly be better than physically depressing the higher brain centers with sleeping pills to produce unconsciousness every night.
"A Practical Guide to Self-Hypnosis" by Melvin Powers
Bread pills were furnished.
"Red-Tape and Pigeon-Hole Generals" by William H. Armstrong
Mix and divide into sixty pills.
"Searchlights on Health: Light on Dark Corners" by B.G. Jefferis
Some said her bitters tasted sweet, And some pronounced her pills delightful.
"The Book of Humorous Verse" by Various
Pills says he never saw a man so terror-stricken as he seems to be.
"Waring's Peril" by Charles King
This Pilling it appears married a daughter of Abraham Walch.
"A Journey to America in 1834" by Robert Heywood
The doctor, or "Pills," as the men called him, established his battalion hospital in a ravine in a break in the trenches.
"Bamboo Tales" by Ira L. Reeves
She took out her pill box and opened it, a little fearfully.
"Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1909 to 1922" by Lucy Maud Montgomery

In poetry:

Between times a plain life
crushed pill on a sweet spoon.
Can word wells spout
at this dry time?
"At One Time" by Raymond Queneau
Just as the sun was setting
Back of the Western hills
Grandfather stood by the window
Eating the last of his pills.
"A Pastoral" by Ellis Parker Butler
When his potion and his pill,
Has, or none, or little skill,
Meet for nothing but to kill,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
"His Litany, To The Holy Spirit" by Robert Herrick
And Grandmother, by the cupboard,
Knitting, heard him say:
"I ought to have went to the village
To fetch some more pills today."
"A Pastoral" by Ellis Parker Butler
I sent for Ratcliffe, was so ill,
That other doctors gave me over,
He felt my pulse, prescribed his pill,
And I was likely to recover.
"The Remedy Worse Than The Disease" by Matthew Prior
"O, stay," the maiden said, "A rest
Pray give us! What with 'Bixby's Best,'
And 'Simmons' Pills,' we're like to die."
He only answered, "Will you try--SAPOLIO?"
"Excelsior" by Francis Bret Harte

In news:

31-14 discrepancy in free-throw attempts tough pill to swallow.
The New York City Department of Education is providing morning-after pills and other birth control drugs to students at 13 city high schools.
Dog Bite 's 'Prettiest Pills'.
84-year-old Claire Rosengarten says she started choking on a calcium pill and couldn't breathe.
Eaglesmith, Freddie Alcohol & Pills Lipstick, Lies & Gasoline.
Tucson News NowUS Drug Watchdog Now Strongly Urges Yaz Yasmin Birth Control Pill Users Who Suffered a Stroke or Pulmonary Embolism to Call the Johnson Law Group Now-Before Time Runs Out.
German drugmaker Bayer said its Xarelto blood-thinning pill was recommended for approval by the European drugs regulator for the treatment of dangerous blood clots of the lung, a condition known as pulmonary embolism .
He is suing Virilis Pro pill because it allegedly made his penis bleed and led to a terrifying surgery in which much of his manhood's skin had to be removed.
Older moms told to avoid estrogen pill in weeks after baby arrives.
In a process diet-pill manufacturers might dream about, our sun loses some 5 million tons of mass every second.
When Ryan decides his disappointing, mundane life has come to an end, he downs a NyQuil-and-pill-spiked smoothie.
You've seen them: They promise ease in a pill.
Omega 3 pills are taken by millions of people on a daily basis for a number of ailments but the new research suggests that there is no evidence that they protect the heart.
Lackluster ratings for The Jay Leno Show --and local late news--make November sweeps a tough pill to swallow for many.
He drinks "a lot," he says, and sometimes takes pills.

In science:

Theirs energies have been reduced by pilling up 6 µm mylar foils between the source and the scintillator. A GEANT 4 simulation of α particles emitted by 241Am and crossing several foils of mylar has been done in order to determine the expected α energy spectrum (figure 3).
The BiPo detector for ultralow radioactivity measurements
Diabetes was defined as a “yes” to a question asking about use of insulin or pills for diabetes.
Statistical adjustment for a measure of healthy lifestyle doesn't yield the truth about hormone therapy
Kelly and Terry Pilling, Characterization of the Distribution of Twin Primes, math.
Implications of a New Characterisation of the Distribution of Twin Primes
Science policy for the next 50 years: From guns to pills to brains.
Lessons From the Physics-Education Reform Effort
In any case, the peculiarities of the quantum mechanics of highly entangled particle pairs seem much less mysterious in this picture, once one swallows the very large pill of the odd metric, essentially a one-dimensional universal wormhole.
A Scenario for Strong Gravity without Extra Dimensions