Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


adjective \ˈwərst\

Simple Definition of worst

  • : worse than all others

  • : least skillful, talented, or successful

  • : least appropriate, useful, or helpful

Full Definition of worst

  1. superlative of bad or of ill

  1. 1 :  most corrupt, bad, evil, or ill <his worst fault>

  2. 2 a :  most unfavorable, difficult, unpleasant, or painful <the worst news> <your worst enemy> b :  most unsuitable, faulty, unattractive, or ill-conceived <has the worst table manners> c :  least skillful or efficient <the worst person for the job>

  3. 3 :  most wanting in quality, value, or condition <the worst results>

the worst way
  1. :  very much <such men … need indoctrination the worst way — J. G. Cozzens> —often used with in <wanted a new bicycle in the worst way>

Examples of worst

  1. This is the worst car I've ever bought.

  2. In my opinion, it's her worst book.

  3. It was the worst movie I've ever seen.

  4. His worst quality is his impatience.

  5. This has got to be the worst day of my life.

  6. The worst part of working there is the long commute.

  7. My worst fears came true.

  8. He lives in the worst area of the city.

  9. He is the worst singer I've ever heard.

  10. They're the worst team ever.

Origin of worst

Middle English werste, worste, from Old English wierresta, wyrsta, superl. of the root of Old English wiersa worse

First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with worst




Simple Definition of worst

  • : in the worst way : in a way that is worse than all others

Full Definition of worst

  1. superlative of ill or illy or of bad or badly

  1. 1 :  to the extreme degree of badness or inferiority <the worst dressed person>

  2. 2 :  to the greatest or highest degree <groups who need the subsidies worst lose out — T. W. Arnold>

Examples of worst

  1. My sister was hurt worst.

  2. the areas worst hit by the drought

  3. She was voted the worst-dressed celebrity of 2005.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of worst

before 12th century




Simple Definition of worst

  • the worst : the worst person or thing : the worst group of people or things : the worst part of something

  • : someone's or something's least effective or pleasant condition : someone's or something's worst condition

Full Definition of worst

plural worst

  1. :  one that is worst

at worst
  1. :  under the worst circumstances

Examples of worst

  1. What's the worst that can happen?

  2. When it comes to dancing, he is the worst.

  3. That movie was the worst!

  4. He is the worst of the bunch.

  5. He is one of the worst in the class.

  6. Even in the worst of times, she was hopeful.

  7. It's still raining, but the worst of the storm is over now.

  8. The worst of it is, I don't even know how to contact her.

  9. The company was operating on high costs and low prices—the worst of both worlds.

13th Century

First Known Use of worst

13th century




Definition of worst

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to get the better of :  defeat

Examples of worst

  1. <how humiliating for a tennis champ to be worsted by a player no one had ever heard of>


First Known Use of worst


Medical Dictionary


Medical Definition of worst

    superlative of ill

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up worst? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

2.2 pounds 100 pounds 16.96 pounds 196.5 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.