adjective, superl. of bad and ill.
verb (used with object)
Origin of worst
- in the least favourable interpretation or view
- under the least favourable conditions
Word Origin 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.
at the worst
see at worst.
see at worst; get (have) the worst of it; if worst comes to worst; in the worst way. Also see under worse.