Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

poorly

[poo r-lee]
See more synonyms for poorly on Thesaurus.com
adverb
  1. in a poor manner or way: The team played poorly.
Show More
adjective
  1. in poor health; somewhat ill: I hear she's been poorly.
Show More

Origin of poorly

First recorded in 1250–1300, poorly is from the Middle English word pourely. See poor, -ly
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

illbadlyinadequatelyinsufficientlycrudelyailingfailingindisposedlowmeanrottensicksicklyunwellincompetentlymeanlydefectivelyinexpertlyinferiorlyshabbily

Examples from the Web for poorly

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • For I have seen a letter of his, and indifferently worded, as poorly spelt.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • The demand was so sudden and unexpected that it found them poorly prepared to meet it.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • But the child who had done so much for him and had been so poorly repaid, was never out of his mind.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • Her ladyship had been but poorly, but was better within the last two days.

  • Needless to say, in all England there is not an estate so poorly kept up.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson


British Dictionary definitions for poorly

poorly

adverb
  1. in a poor way or manner; badly
Show More
adjective
  1. (usually postpositive) informal in poor health; rather illshe's poorly today
Show More
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for poorly

adv.

early 13c., "inadequately, badly, insufficiently," from poor (adj.) + -ly (2). Meaning "in ill health" is from 1750.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper