- 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
In the sense “very much,” badly is fully standard: He needs help badly.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for badly
The rage that Marvin has embodied, a man on the edge of eruption, is always a badly wounded man.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile
January 3, 2015
He then saw two badly wounded uniformed officers in the front of a radio car.'Please Don't Die!': The Frantic Battle to Save Murdered Cops
December 22, 2014
Kurnosova badly wants the change to take place democratically.Russians Plot Exiled Government in Kiev
December 16, 2014
On her first entrance, Hitchcock says, “She looks old, they've shot her badly.”Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
The Grey Lady said that a series of badly mishandled global crises has “fueled speculation that Mr. Obama may shake up his team.”Before Ditching His Top Aides, Obama Should Look in the Mirror
Leslie H. Gelb
November 2, 2014
"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
We hear them read far too often and far too badly, and all repetition is anti-spiritual.De Profundis
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.The Boy Life of Napoleon
- 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
Word Origin and History for badly
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper