go bad


Spoil, decay; also, turn to crime. For example, You can tell from the smell that this milk has gone bad, or If he keeps running around with that street gang, he's sure to go bad. [Late 1800s]

Words Nearby go bad

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

How to use go bad in a sentence

  • Those qualities—good enough in times of war—go bad in times of peace.

    The Isle of Unrest | Henry Seton Merriman
  • Able to keep fresh under the mandibles of the Sphex-larvae, why did they promptly go bad under the mandibles of the Scolia-larvae?

    More Hunting Wasps | J. Henri Fabre
  • I was surprised to find it kept good so long: it is seldom known to go bad.

  • The others, the real knackers, wait for the meat to go bad; they are informed by the strength of the effluvia.

    The Life of the Fly | J. Henri Fabre
  • "You'll never know how a real golfer feels when his shots go bad on him," was the consoling response.

    Fore! | Charles Emmett Van Loan