Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.

bad egg

a person who is bad, dishonest, or unreliable; a good-for-nothing:
a bad egg who had served several years in prison.
Origin of bad egg
An Americanism dating back to 1850-55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for bad egg
Historical Examples
  • There are fourteen hens, and never do I find a bad egg in the nests.

  • He is full of practical jokes, and is a bad egg on general principles.

    Peck's Sunshine George W. Peck
  • He was always a bad egg; always a disgrace to his name and connections.

    Cleek, the Master Detective

    Thomas W. Hanshew
  • Carlsen's a bad egg an', w'en he hatches, you'll see a buzzard.

    A Man to His Mate J. Allan Dunn
  • Parkins is a bad egg, so watch out for him, especially if he is in his cups.

    Dreamy Hollow

    Sumner Charles Britton
  • He's a bad egg, but he wasn't made to throw at a pardner's head.

    The Red River Half-Breed Gustave Aimard
  • He is a bad egg, one of the very worst, a pretty detestable specimen.

    Swann's Way Marcel Proust
  • I tell you, Mr. Sumner, he is a bad egg, and he ought to be discharged.

    The Missing Tin Box Arthur M. Winfield
  • "Of course he is a bad egg, and it is our duty to get him out of the way," replied Hardwick.

    The Missing Tin Box Arthur M. Winfield
  • I have always believed that there must have been more than one bad egg in the dozen.

    The Boy Spy Joseph Kerby
Contemporary definitions for bad egg

a corrupt or evil person, cf. good egg

See good egg's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for bad egg

bad egg

noun phrase

A villain, criminal, or other deplorable person; bad actor, baddie (1855+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with bad egg

bad egg

An individual who turns out to be rotten, as in You can't trust him—he's simply a bad egg . Although egg had been used for various kinds of person (young, good, bad) since Shakespeare's day, this transfer of a seemingly wholesome food that, when opened, turns out to be rotten took place only in the mid-1800s. An early definition appeared in The Atheneum of 1864: “A bad egg ... a fellow who had not proved to be as good as his promise.” In contrast, the schoolyard saying Last one in is a rotten egg does not have any special significance other than as a way of urging others to join an activity, jump in the water, or the like. Also see good egg
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for bad egg

Word Value for bad

Scrabble Words With Friends