[ feel-bad ]


, Informal.
  1. intended to make one feel unhappy, depressed, or dissatisfied, often to arouse one’s conscience or understanding:

    a feel-bad documentary about Nagasaki;

    feel-bad financial reports.

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of feel-bad1

First recorded in 1980–85; feel ( def ) + bad 1( def ) on the model of feel-good ( def )
Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

Also, feel bad about . Experience regret, sadness, embarrassment, or a similar unpleasant emotion. For example, I feel bad about not attending the funeral , or The teacher's scolding made Bobby feel bad . [First half of 1800s]
Discover More

Example Sentences

If not for meaningfulness, what other reason is there to watch a movie that makes you feel bad?

I tell myself not to feel bad because my life expectancy is eighty-six, which means I have nineteen more years of life.

If you don't understand that reference, don't feel bad: it's just proving our point.

Other species experience bad feelings, but humans are unique in their capacity to feel bad about feeling bad.

Plus when you read articles like this, you can't help but feel bad for the kid.

It makes me feel bad to think that my boys fought against it (he meant the boys who attended the Sunday school).

Makes me feel bad to see any young creetur suffer; most of all to see a bird.

Why, then, should we feel bad if the world looks upon us as ravagers of religion and insurgents against constituted authority?

And then I gives Miss Sterling the laugh proper, just to carry it off like a joke, so she wouldn't feel bad about the mistake.

When something happens which it makes me feel bad, Max, I got to swear, y'understand.


Discover More

More About Feel-Bad

What does feel-bad mean?

Feel-bad describes something intended to make you feel unhappy or upset in order to engage your conscience or sympathy, as in Sayed’s feel-bad video about a struggling town had the whole class thinking about how to help the town.

Feel-bad is an informal term that is used to describe something intended to make someone feel negatively in some type of way. You might create something feel-bad to inform, entertain, or inspire sympathy and understanding in your audience. Feel-bad pieces often make you feel uncomfortable. Examples include horror or extremely violent films, documentaries about disasters or atrocities, music with depressing lyrics and somber tones, and books recounting negative, relatable stories.

Feel-bad can also describe something more general, such as a period of depression or dissatisfaction, as in a feel-bad day or a feel-bad season.

Example: When Otto is really sad, he listens to feel-bad songs to express his feelings.

Where does feel-bad come from?

The first records of the term feel-bad come from around the 1980s. It combines the terms feel, meaning “to be emotionally affected” and bad, meaning “regretful, dejected, or upset,” and is modeled on its antonym feel-good, which was first recorded slightly before feel-bad.

Feel-bad is modeled on feel-good, which describes something that intends to make you feel happy or satisfied. Feel-good and feel-bad are adjective forms of the verb phrases feel good and feel bad. Feel good means “to experience positivity,” as in Looking forward to vacation always makes Jamal feel good. Feel bad means “to experience negativity,” as in Lola feels bad when she has to share bad news.

Did you know … ?

What are some synonyms for feel-bad?

What are some words that share a root or word element with feel-bad

What are some words that often get used in discussing feel-bad?

What are some words feel-bad may be commonly confused with?

How is feel-bad used in real life?

Feel-bad is mostly used informally to describe a person’s behavior or the intended emotions received from a creative work.

Try using feel-bad!

Is feel-bad used correctly in the following sentence?

“I always feel-bad when I show up late to parties.”

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




feelfeel blue