- bad or ill in the highest, greatest, or most extreme degree: the worst person.
- most faulty, unsatisfactory, or objectionable: the worst paper submitted.
- most unfavorable or injurious.
- in the poorest condition: the worst house on the block.
- most unpleasant, unattractive, or disagreeable: the worst personality I've ever known.
- most lacking in skill; least skilled: the worst typist in the group.
- that which is worst.
- in the most evil, wicked, severe, or disadvantageous manner.
- with the most severity, intensity, etc.; in the greatest degree.
- to defeat; beat: He worsted him easily.
- at worst, if the worst happens; under the worst conditions: He will be expelled from school, at worst.Also at the worst.
- get the worst of something, to be defeated by; lose: to get the worst of a fight.
- if worst comes to worst, if the very worst happens: If worst comes to worst, we still have some money in reserve.
- in the worst way, Informal. in an extreme degree; very much: She wanted a new robe for Christmas in the worst way.Also the worst way.
Origin of worst
- of unsound physical or mental health; unwell; sick: She felt ill, so her teacher sent her to the nurse.
- objectionable; unsatisfactory; poor; faulty: ill manners.
- hostile; unkindly: ill feeling.
- evil; wicked; bad: of ill repute.
- unfavorable; adverse: ill fortune.
- of inferior worth or ability; unskillful; inexpert: an ill example of scholarship.
- Slang. great; amazing: His mom is the illest cook.
- an unfavorable opinion or statement: I can speak no ill of her.
- harm or injury: His remarks did much ill.
- trouble, distress, or misfortune: Many ills befell him.
- evil: to know the difference between good and ill.
- sickness or disease.
- in an ill manner.
- unsatisfactorily; poorly: It ill befits a man to betray old friends.
- in a hostile or unfriendly manner.
- unfavorably; unfortunately.
- with displeasure or offense.
- faultily; improperly.
- with difficulty or inconvenience; scarcely: Buying a new car is an expense we can ill afford.
- ill at ease, socially uncomfortable; nervous: They were ill at ease because they didn't speak the language.
Origin of ill
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- not good in any manner or degree.
- having a wicked or evil character; morally reprehensible: There is no such thing as a bad boy.
- of poor or inferior quality; defective; deficient: a bad diamond; a bad spark plug.
- inadequate or below standard; not satisfactory for use: bad heating; Living conditions in some areas are very bad.
- inaccurate, incorrect, or faulty: a bad guess.
- invalid, unsound, or false: a bad insurance claim; bad judgment.
- causing or liable to cause sickness or ill health; injurious or harmful: Too much sugar is bad for your teeth.
- suffering from sickness, ill health, pain, or injury; sick; ill: He felt bad from eating the green apples.
- not healthy or in good physical condition; diseased, decayed, or physically weakened: A bad heart kept him out of the army.
- tainted, spoiled, or rotten, especially to the point of being inedible: The meat is bad because you left it out of the refrigerator too long.
- having a disastrous or detrimental effect, result, or tendency; unfavorable: The drought is bad for the farmers. His sloppy appearance made a bad impression.
- causing or characterized by discomfort, inconvenience, uneasiness, or annoyance; disagreeable; unpleasant: I had a bad flight to Chicago.
- easily provoked to anger; irascible: a bad temper.
- cross, irritable, or surly: If I don't have my morning coffee, I'm in a bad mood all day.
- more uncomfortable, persistent, painful, or dangerous than usual; severe: a bad attack of asthma.
- causing or resulting in disaster or severe damage or destruction: a bad flood.
- regretful, contrite, dejected, or upset: He felt bad about having to leave the children all alone.
- disobedient, naughty, or misbehaving: If you're bad at school, you'll go to bed without supper.
- disreputable or dishonorable: He's getting a bad name from changing jobs so often.
- displaying a lack of skill, talent, proficiency, or judgment: a bad painting; Bad drivers cause most of the accidents.
- causing distress; unfortunate or unfavorable: I'm afraid I have bad news for you.
- not suitable or appropriate; disadvantageous or dangerous: It was a bad day for fishing.
- inclement; considered too stormy, hot, cold, etc.: We had a bad winter with a lot of snow.
- disagreeable or offensive to the senses: a bad odor.
- exhibiting a lack of artistic sensitivity: The room was decorated in bad taste.
- not in keeping with a standard of behavior or conduct; coarse: bad manners.
- (of a word, speech, or writing)
- vulgar, obscene, or blasphemous: bad language.
- not properly observing rules or customs of grammar, usage, spelling, etc.; incorrect: He speaks bad English.
- unattractive, especially because of a lack of pleasing proportions: She has a bad figure.
- (of the complexion) marred by defects; pockmarked or pimply; blemished: bad skin.
- not profitable or worth the price paid: The land was a bad buy.
- Commerce. deemed uncollectible or irrecoverable and treated as a loss: a bad debt.
- ill-spent; wasted: Don't throw good money after bad money.
- counterfeit; not genuine: There was a bad ten-dollar bill in with the change.
- having the character of a villain; villainous: In the movies the good guys always beat the bad guys.
- Sports. failing to land within the in-bounds limits of a court or section of a court; missing the mark; not well aimed.
- Slang. outstandingly excellent; first-rate: He's a bad man on drums, and the fans love him.
- that which is bad: You have to take the bad with the good.
- a bad condition, character, or quality: His health seemed to go from bad to worse.
- (used with a plural verb) evil persons collectively (usually preceded by the): The bad are always stirring up trouble.
- badly: He wanted it bad enough to steal it.
- bad off, in poor or distressed condition or circumstances; destitute: His family has been pretty bad off since he lost his job.Also badly off.Compare well-off.
- go to the bad, to deteriorate physically or morally; go to ruin: She wept at seeing her son go to the bad.
- in a bad way, in severe trouble or distress.
- in bad, Informal.
- in trouble or distress.
- in disfavor: He's in bad with his father-in-law.
- my bad, Slang. my fault! my mistake!
- not bad,
- tolerably good; not without merit: The dinner wasn't bad, but I've had better.
- not difficult: Once you know geometry, trigonometry isn't bad.
- too bad, unfortunate or disappointing: It's too bad that he didn't go to college.
- to the bad, in arrears: He's $100 to the bad on his debt.
Origin of bad1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
When the adverbial use is required, badly is standard with all verbs: She reacted badly to the criticism. Bad as an adverb appears mainly in informal contexts: I didn't do too bad on the tests. He wants money so bad it hurts. See also badly, good.
- in a defective, incorrect, or undesirable way: The car runs badly.
- in an unsatisfactory, inadequate, or unskilled manner: a vague, badly written letter; He paints badly.
- unfavorably: His neighbors spoke badly of him. The weather turned out badly for the cruise.
- in a wicked, evil, or morally or legally wrong way.
- in a disobedient, naughty, or ethically or socially wrong way: He treats his parents badly.
- very much; to a great extent or degree: a house badly in need of repair; to want something badly.
- severely; direly: to be injured badly.
- with great distress, resentment, regret, or emotional display: She took the news of her mother's death badly.
- in ill health; sick: He felt badly.
- sorry; regretful: I feel badly about your reaction to my remark.
- dejected; downcast.
- badly off. bad1(def 41).
Origin of badly
Examples from the Web for worst
But there is an underlying feeling that the worst is yet to come.Europe’s Islam Haters Say We Told You So
Barbie Latza Nadeau
January 8, 2015
If there are 162 confirmed deaths from Flight 8501, this would make 2014 the worst year for accident deaths since 2005.Did Bad Weather Bring Down AirAsia 8501?
December 29, 2014
And his worst work is better than the stuff everyone else is doing.Coffee Talk with Ethan Hawke: On ‘Boyhood,’ Jennifer Lawrence, and Bill Clinton’s Urinal Exchange
December 27, 2014
It was neither the best nor worst pickup line I encountered that evening.The Craziest Date Night for Single Jews, Where Mistletoe Is Ditched for Shots
December 26, 2014
Although I was not free of eating disorder thoughts, I figured the worst of it was behind me.You’re Never ‘Cured’ of an Eating Disorder
December 20, 2014
"And that isn't the worst of it," the relentless daughter broke in.
Not a hand was raised—for his worst enemies could not deny that he was temperate and frugal.
The best doctrines become the worst, when they are used for evil purposes.
If the worst came, he could go West with the family and learn how to do something.
When everything looked at its worst, then all seemed to change for our benefit.Explorations in Australia
- the superlative of bad 1
- in the most extreme or bad manner or degree
- least well, suitably, or acceptably
- (in combination) in or to the smallest degree or extent; leastworst-loved
- the worst the least good or most inferior person, thing, or part in a group, narrative, etc
- (often preceded by at) the most poor, unpleasant, or unskilled quality or conditiontelevision is at its worst these days
- the greatest amount of damage or wickedness of which a person or group is capablethe invaders came and did their worst
- the weakest effort or poorest achievement that a person or group is capable of makingthe applicant did his worst at the test because he did not want the job
- the worst
- in the least favourable interpretation or view
- under the least favourable conditions
- if the worst comes to the worst if all the more desirable alternatives become impossible or if the worst possible thing happens
- come off worst or get the worst of it to enjoy the least benefit from an issue or be defeated in it
- (tr) to get the advantage over; defeat or beat
- poorly; defectively; inadequatelythe chair is badly made
- unfavourably; unsuccessfully; unfortunatelyour scheme worked out badly
- severely; gravelyhe was badly hurt
- incorrectly or inaccuratelyto speak German badly
- improperly; naughtily; wickedlyto behave badly
- without humanity; cruellyto treat someone badly
- very much (esp in the phrases need badly, badly in need of, want badly)
- regretfullyhe felt badly about it
- badly off poor; impoverished
- (postpositive) Northern English dialect ill; poorly
- (usually postpositive) not in good health; sick
- characterized by or intending evil, harm, etc; hostileill deeds
- causing or resulting in pain, harm, adversity, etcill effects
- ascribing or imputing evil to something referred toill repute
- promising an unfavourable outcome; unpropitiousan ill omen
- harsh; lacking kindnessill will
- not up to an acceptable standard; faultyill manners
- ill at ease unable to relax; uncomfortable
- evil or harmto wish a person ill
- a mild disease
- misfortune; trouble
- badlythe title ill befits him
- with difficulty; hardlyhe can ill afford the money
- not rightlyshe ill deserves such good fortune
- not good; of poor quality; inadequate; inferiorbad workmanship; bad soil; bad light for reading
- (often foll by at) lacking skill or talent; incompetenta bad painter; bad at sports
- (often foll by for) harmfulbad air; smoking is bad for you
- immoral; evila bad life
- naughty; mischievous; disobedienta bad child
- rotten; decayed; spoileda bad egg
- severe; intensea bad headache
- incorrect; wrong; faultybad pronunciation
- ill or in pain (esp in the phrase feel bad)
- regretful, sorry, or upset (esp in the phrase feel bad about)
- unfavourable; distressingbad news; a bad business
- offensive; unpleasant; disagreeablebad language; bad temper
- not valid or sound; voida bad cheque
- not recoverablea bad debt
- badder or baddest slang good; excellent
- go from bad to worse to deteriorate even more
- go bad to putrefy; spoil
- in a bad way informal
- seriously ill, through sickness or injury
- in trouble of any kind
- in someone's bad books See book (def. 21)
- make the best of a bad job to manage as well as possible in unfavourable circumstances
- not bad or not so bad informal passable; fair; fairly good
- not half bad informal very good
- too bad informal (often used dismissively) regrettable
- unfortunate or unpleasant events collectively (often in the phrase take the bad with the good)
- an immoral or degenerate state (often in the phrase go to the bad)
- the debit side of an account£200 to the bad
- my bad US and Canadian informal my fault or mistake
- not standard badlyto want something bad
- a variant of bade
Word Origin and History for worst
Old English wyrresta, from Proto-Germanic *wers-ista- (cf. Old Saxon wirsista, Old Norse verstr, Old Frisian wersta, Old High German wirsisto), superlative of PIE *wers- "to confuse, mix up" (see worse). Phrase in the worst way (1839) is from American English sense of "most severely."
"damage, inflict loss upon," c.1600, from worst (adj.). Related: Worsted; worsting.
c.1200, "morally evil" (other 13c. senses were "malevolent, hurtful, unfortunate, difficult"), from Old Norse illr "ill, bad," of unknown origin. Not related to evil. Main modern sense of "sick, unhealthy, unwell" is first recorded mid-15c., probably related to Old Norse idiom "it is bad to me." Slang inverted sense of "very good, cool" is 1980s. As a noun, "something evil," from mid-13c.
c.1200, "inferior in quality;" early 13c., "wicked, evil, vicious," a mystery word with no apparent relatives in other languages.* Possibly from Old English derogatory term bæddel and its diminutive bædling "effeminate man, hermaphrodite, pederast," probably related to bædan "to defile." A rare word before 1400, and evil was more common in this sense until c.1700. Meaning "uncomfortable, sorry" is 1839, American English colloquial.
Comparable words in the other Indo-European languages tend to have grown from descriptions of specific qualities, such as "ugly," "defective," "weak," "faithless," "impudent," "crooked," "filthy" (e.g. Greek kakos, probably from the word for "excrement;" Russian plochoj, related to Old Church Slavonic plachu "wavering, timid;" Persian gast, Old Persian gasta-, related to gand "stench;" German schlecht, originally "level, straight, smooth," whence "simple, ordinary," then "bad").
Comparative and superlative forms badder, baddest were common 14c.-18c. and used as recently as Defoe (but not by Shakespeare), but yielded to comparative worse and superlative worst (which had belonged to evil and ill).
As a noun, late 14c., "evil, wickedness." In U.S. place names, sometimes translating native terms meaning "supernaturally dangerous." Ironic use as a word of approval is said to be at least since 1890s orally, originally in Black English, emerging in print 1928 in a jazz context. It might have emerged from the ambivalence of expressions like bad nigger, used as a term of reproach by whites, but among blacks sometimes representing one who stood up to injustice, but in the U.S. West bad man also had a certain ambivalence:
These are the men who do most of the killing in frontier communities, yet it is a noteworthy fact that the men who are killed generally deserve their fate. [Farmer & Henley]
*Farsi has bad in more or less the same sense as the English word, but this is regarded by linguists as a coincidence. The forms of the words diverge as they are traced back in time (Farsi bad comes from Middle Persian vat), and such accidental convergences exist across many languages, given the vast number of words in each and the limited range of sounds humans can make to signify them. Among other coincidental matches with English are Korean mani "many," Chinese pei "pay," Nahuatl (Aztecan) huel "well," Maya hol "hole."
early 13c., "to do evil to," from ill (adj.). Meaing "to speak disparagingly" is from 1520s. Related: Illed; illing.
c.1200, "wickedly; with hostility;" see ill (adj.). Meaning "not well, poorly" is from c.1300. It generally has not shifted to the realm of physical sickess, as the adjective has done. Ill-fated recorded from 1710; ill-informed from 1824; ill-tempered from c.1600; ill-starred from c.1600. Generally contrasted with well, hence the useful, but now obsolete or obscure illcome (1570s), illfare (c.1300), and illth.
- Not healthy; sick.
- Not normal, as a condition; unsound.
- A disease or illness, especially of animals.
Idioms and Phrases with worst
In addition to the idioms beginning with bad
- bad blood
- bad egg
- bad hair day
- bad luck
- badly off
- bad mouth
- bad name
- bad news
- bad off
- bad sort, a
- bad taste
- bad time
- bad trip
- come to an end (bad end)
- feel bad
- from bad to worse
- get off on the wrong foot (to a bad start)
- give a bad name
- give bad marks to
- go bad
- in a bad mood
- in a bad way
- in bad faith
- in bad with someone
- in someone's bad graces
- leave a bad taste in one's mouth
- make the best of (a bad bargain)
- not a bad sort
- not bad
- poor (bad) taste
- run of (bad) luck
- too bad
- turn up (like a bad penny)
- with bad grace