Idioms for worst

Origin of worst

before 900; Middle English worste (adj., adv., and noun), Old English wur(re)sta, wyr(re)st, wer(re)sta (adj. and adv.); cognate with Old Norse verstr; see worse, -est1

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH worst

worst wurst

Definition for worst (2 of 4)

ill
[ il ]
/ ɪl /

adjective, worse, worst; ill·er, ill·est for 7.

noun

adverb

Origin of ill

1150–1200; Middle English ill(e) (noun and adj.) < Old Norse illr (adj.) ill, bad

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH ill

ill sick1 (see synonym study at the current entry)

synonym study for ill

1. Ill, sick mean being in bad health, not being well. Ill is the more formal word. In the U.S. the two words are used practically interchangeably except that sick is always used when the word modifies the following noun: He looks sick ( ill ); a sick person. In England, sick is not interchangeable with ill, but usually has the connotation of nauseous: She got sick and threw up. sick, however, is used before nouns just as in the U.S.: a sick man. 4. See bad1.

grammar notes for ill

See well1.

Definition for worst (3 of 4)

bad1
[ bad ]
/ bæd /

adjective, worse, worst; (Slang) bad·der, bad·dest for 36.

noun

adverb Informal.

badly: He wanted it bad enough to steal it.

Origin of bad

1
1250–1300; Middle English badde, perhaps akin to Old English bæddel hermaphrodite, bædling womanish man

OTHER WORDS FROM bad

bad·ness, noun

synonym study for bad

2. Bad, evil, ill, wicked are closest in meaning in reference to that which is lacking in moral qualities or is actually vicious and reprehensible. Bad is the broadest and simplest term: a bad man; bad habits. Evil applies to that which violates or leads to the violation of moral law: evil practices. Ill now appears mainly in certain fixed expressions, with a milder implication than that in evil: ill will; ill-natured. Wicked implies willful and determined doing of what is very wrong: a wicked plan.

usage note for bad

The adjective bad meaning “unpleasant, unattractive, unfavorable, spoiled, etc.,” is the usual form to follow such copulative verbs as sound, smell, look, and taste: After the rainstorm the water tasted bad. The coach says the locker room smells bad. After the copulative verb feel, the adjective badly in reference to physical or emotional states is also used and is standard, although bad is more common in formal writing: I feel bad from overeating. She felt badly about her friend's misfortune.
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.

Definition for worst (4 of 4)

badly
[ bad-lee ]
/ ˈbæd li /

adverb, worse, worst.

adjective

Origin of badly

First recorded in 1350–1400, badly is from the Middle English word baddeli. See bad1, -ly

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH badly

bad badly (see usage note at bad1) (see usage note at the current entry)

usage note for badly

In the sense “very much,” badly is fully standard: He needs help badly.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for worst

British Dictionary definitions for worst (1 of 5)

Word Origin for worst

Old English wierrest; related to Old Frisian wersta, Old Saxon, Old High German wirsisto, Old Norse verstr

British Dictionary definitions for worst (2 of 5)

badly
/ (ˈbædlɪ) /

adverb worse or worst

adjective

(postpositive) Northern English dialect ill; poorly

British Dictionary definitions for worst (3 of 5)

ill
/ (ɪl) /

adjective worse or worst

noun

adverb

Word Origin for ill

C11 (in the sense: evil): from Old Norse illr bad

British Dictionary definitions for worst (4 of 5)

bad1
/ (bæd) /

adjective worse or worst

noun

adverb

not standard badlyto want something bad

Derived forms of bad

baddish, adjectivebadness, noun

Word Origin for bad

C13: probably from bæd-, as the first element of Old English bǣddel hermaphrodite, bǣdling sodomite

British Dictionary definitions for worst (5 of 5)

bad2
/ (bæd) /

verb

a variant of bade
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

Medical definitions for worst

ill
[ ĭl ]

adj.

Not healthy; sick.
Not normal, as a condition; unsound.

n.

A disease or illness, especially of animals.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with worst (1 of 3)

worst

see at worst; get (have) the worst of it; if worst comes to worst; in the worst way. Also see under worse.

Idioms and Phrases with worst (2 of 3)

bad

Idioms and Phrases with worst (3 of 3)

ill

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