bad sort, a

An unpleasant, mean person, as in We cautioned Bill about his friend, who was clearly a bad sort. The antonym is a good sort, a pleasant, kind person, as in She's a good sort, always helping her neighbors. The latter is stronger than not a bad sort, as in He seems ill-tempered now and then, but he's not a bad sort. All three terms use a sort in the sense of “kind of person.” [Second half of 1800s]


Nearby words

  1. bad off,
  2. bad paper,
  3. bad place, the,
  4. bad rap,
  5. bad seed,
  6. bad taste,
  7. bad time,
  8. bad trip,
  9. bad trot,
  10. bad-mouth

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.