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badly

[bad-lee] /ˈbæd li/
adverb, worse, worst.
1.
in a defective, incorrect, or undesirable way:
The car runs badly.
2.
in an unsatisfactory, inadequate, or unskilled manner:
a vague, badly written letter; He paints badly.
3.
unfavorably:
His neighbors spoke badly of him. The weather turned out badly for the cruise.
4.
in a wicked, evil, or morally or legally wrong way.
5.
in a disobedient, naughty, or ethically or socially wrong way:
He treats his parents badly.
6.
very much; to a great extent or degree:
a house badly in need of repair; to want something badly.
7.
severely; direly:
to be injured badly.
8.
with great distress, resentment, regret, or emotional display:
She took the news of her mother's death badly.
adjective
9.
in ill health; sick:
He felt badly.
10.
sorry; regretful:
I feel badly about your reaction to my remark.
11.
dejected; downcast.
Idioms
12.
badly off. bad1 (def 41).
Origin of badly
1350-1400
First recorded in 1350-1400, badly is from the Middle English word baddeli. See bad1, -ly
Can be confused
bad, badly (see usage note at bad; see usage note at the current entry)
Usage note
In the sense “very much,” badly is fully standard: He needs help badly.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for badly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Seems to take it badly," remarked Banstead, looking at his disappearing figure.

    Viviette William J. Locke
  • The scene, in so far as the Prince is concerned, is badly conducted.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • We hear them read far too often and far too badly, and all repetition is anti-spiritual.

    De Profundis Oscar Wilde
  • He rather pitied the vine—it seemed to have been badly used by fate, just as he had been.

    Chip, of the Flying U B. M. Bower
  • If he was badly off, so, too, were many other boys and girls in that Mediterranean island.

British Dictionary definitions for badly

badly

/ˈbædlɪ/
adverb worse, worst
1.
poorly; defectively; inadequately: the chair is badly made
2.
unfavourably; unsuccessfully; unfortunately: our scheme worked out badly
3.
severely; gravely: he was badly hurt
4.
incorrectly or inaccurately: to speak German badly
5.
improperly; naughtily; wickedly: to behave badly
6.
without humanity; cruelly: to treat someone badly
7.
very much (esp in the phrases need badly, badly in need of, want badly)
8.
regretfully: he felt badly about it
9.
badly off, poor; impoverished
adjective
10.
(postpositive) (Northern English, dialect) ill; poorly
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for badly
adv.

c.1300, "unluckily;" late 14c., "wickedly, evilly; poorly, inadequately," from bad + -ly (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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11
12
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