- vulgar, obscene, or blasphemous: bad language.
- not properly observing rules or customs of grammar, usage, spelling, etc.; incorrect: He speaks bad English.
Idioms about bad
- in trouble or distress.
- in disfavor: He's in bad with his father-in-law.
- 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.
Origin of bad1
usage note for bad
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.
historical usage of bad
Bad off, in standard English now badly off, dates to the first half of the 18th century ( badly off dates to roughly the same time). The colloquialism my bad!, an Americanism, dates from the early 1980s.
Bad in its slang sense “excellent, first-rate” is surprisingly old, first appearing in print in the 1890s. It was then popularized in the 1920s within the jazz scene, and is typically associated with Black English. The slang sense “very tough, formidable” also appeared in the 19th century; it often meant “formidably skilled,” which ties in with the “excellent, first-rate” meaning.
OTHER WORDS FROM badbadness, noun
Other definitions for bad (2 of 2)
How to use bad in a sentence
This is going to get worse before it gets better, both on the health side and the economic side.Live updates: Georgia secretary of state issues correction, saying certification of its general election results is still under way|John Wagner, Colby Itkowitz, Michelle Lee|November 20, 2020|Washington Post
If that’s cut off, and we balkanize, the world is worse for it.The biggest risks and opportunities for investors in 2021|matthewheimer|November 20, 2020|Fortune
In 1909 and 1985, inauguration ceremonies were forced inside by bad winter weather.What will Inauguration Day look like amid a pandemic?|Emily Davies, Justin Jouvenal|November 19, 2020|Washington Post
When food and space get scarce, competition can bring out the worst in monarch caterpillars.Monarch caterpillars head-butt each other to fight for scarce food|Curtis Segarra|November 19, 2020|Science News
Though Washington County’s numbers aren’t as bad as nearby Allegany and Garrett counties, it’s still seeing more per capita infections and hospitalizations than ever.As the coronavirus tears through rural Maryland, an ultramarathon plans to race on|Rick Maese|November 19, 2020|Washington Post
What happened there is pure evil, and evil, unlike common badness, gives an ordinary mind no foothold.There's Little We Can Do to Prevent Another Massacre|Megan McArdle|December 17, 2012|DAILY BEAST
Funny that the Massachusetts secretary of state, William Galvin, thinks that account may be part of the larger Bernie badness.Ruth's Secret Stash|Allan Dodds Frank|March 15, 2009|DAILY BEAST
The badness of the gunpowder used by the Mexicans, was again of great service to us.
After dinner to horse again, being in nothing troubled but the badness of my hat, which I borrowed to save my beaver.Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete|Samuel Pepys
I soon repented of my badness and looked everywhere for you to tell you how sorry I was and ask you to forgive me.Elsie's Vacation and After Events|Martha Finley
Hollister could no longer believe that goodness and badness were wholly matters of free will.The Hidden Places|Bertrand W. Sinclair
You must not mind the badness of my scrawl: and let me hear from you.Memoirs of the Courts and Cabinets of George the Third|The Duke of Buckingham and Chandos
British Dictionary definitions for bad (1 of 2)
- seriously ill, through sickness or injury
- in trouble of any kind
Derived forms of badbaddish, adjectivebadness, noun
Word Origin for bad
British Dictionary definitions for bad (2 of 2)
Other Idioms and Phrases with bad
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