- 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
We need to recover and grow the idea that the proper answer to bad speech is more and better speech.
I gotta say—I think this past year was pretty bad for music.Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness|Marlow Stern|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Ass-kicking, bad guy-killing Carter is just a future spinster.
They all immediately dashed out to their car to catch the bad guys.
Terrorism is bad news anywhere, but especially rough on Odessa, where the city motto seems to be “make love, not war.”
The "bad form" of telling a lie to the head-master is a later illustration of the same thing.Children's Ways|James Sully
The men arrived in very bad condition, and many of them blinded with the salt water which had dashed into their eyes.
Their sin began on Holy Thursday, with so little secrecy and so bad an example, that the affair was beginning to leak out.
Conditions in the new country had gone from bad to worse, and if the season should experience another drought, the worst was come.The Homesteader|Oscar Micheaux
If any one has lost his temper, as well as his money, he takes good care not to show it; to do so here would be indeed bad form.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
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