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]
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
In American fiction, we tend to write about things that go bad.
I guessed that it might have been a psychic marker of when everything began to go bad.Curse the Media in Newtown for Doing Too Little, Too Late on Guns | Michael Daly | December 20, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
Whoever is doing these things has to have enough money to pay up if the bets go bad.Barney Frank on JPMorgan’s Contradictions, Mitt Romney’s Mistakes | Eleanor Clift | May 26, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
She was also worried that an entire pork shoulder she had just bought might go bad in her unpowered freezer.
Now a lot of things that we anticipated could go bad didn't.
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.Memoir and Diary of John Yeardley, Minister of the Gospel | John Yeardley
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