bad

adjective
\ ˈbad How to pronounce bad (audio) \
worse\ ˈwərs How to pronounce bad (audio) \; worst\ ˈwərst How to pronounce bad (audio) \

Definition of bad

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : failing to reach an acceptable standard : poor a bad repair job
b : unfavorable make a bad impression
c : not fresh : spoiled bad fish
d : not sound : dilapidated the house was in bad condition
2a : morally objectionable : evil bad men
b : mischievous, disobedient a bad dog
3 : inadequate or unsuited to a purpose a bad plan bad lighting
4 : disagreeable, unpleasant bad news
5a : injurious, harmful a bad influence
b : serious, severe in bad trouble a bad cough
6 : incorrect, faulty bad grammar
7a : suffering pain or distress felt generally bad
b : unhealthy, diseased bad teeth
8 : sorrowful, sorry feels bad about forgetting to call
9a : invalid, void a bad check
b : not able to be collected a bad debt
10 badder; baddest slang
a : good, great one of the baddest songwriters to be found anywhereBlack Collegian
b : tough, mean the baddest guy on the block
not bad
: fairly or acceptably good She eyes the other girls' clothes. A bright orange skirt. Good. A black cocktail dress with a gold belt. Not bad. A white dress with a blousy, frilly top. Hideous.— Karl Taro Greenfeld : quite good or impressive For the second time in three games, Patrick Roy blanked the Dallas Stars. Not bad for a player who insists he is not a shutout goalie.The New York Times

bad

noun

Definition of bad (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : something that is bad There's more good than bad in him. Take the good with the bad.
2 : an evil or unhappy state Things went from bad to worse.
3 : fault sense 2 the mistake was my bad

bad

adverb

Definition of bad (Entry 3 of 3)

: badly not doing so bad doesn't want it bad enough

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Other Words from bad

Adjective

badness noun

Examples of bad in a Sentence

Adjective The house is in bad condition. a letter written in bad French He had a bad day at the office. I was having a bad dream. She made a very bad impression on her future colleagues. We've been having bad weather lately. The medicine left a bad taste in his mouth. It's a bad time for business right now. Things are looking pretty bad for us at this point. I have a bad feeling about this. Noun There's more good than bad in him. We need to teach our children the difference between good and bad. teaching children the difference between the good and the bad He believes that the good go to heaven when they die and the bad go to hell. Adverb He hasn't succeeded because he doesn't want it bad enough. you didn't do too bad on the treadmill test
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Good economic news is often bad for rates because a strong economy prompts concern about inflation. Washington Post, "Fixed mortgage rates upward march halted as they fall for the first time in 7 weeks," 8 Apr. 2021 And, in a post-MeToo society, where mores have shifted so quickly, is our lot really so bad? Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "Why We Mourn Girlhood," 7 Apr. 2021 Given that this year's NCAA football championship saw its ratings plummet 27% percent, the basketball ratings weren't half bad. David Bauder, ajc, "About 17 million view Baylor's championship win over Gonzaga," 6 Apr. 2021 Beef is so bad for two reasons, Michael Clark, a scholar of food systems and health at the University of Oxford, explained to me. Annie Lowrey, The Atlantic, "The 2 Rules for Eating to Fight Climate Change," 6 Apr. 2021 When the police knocked on Amanda Corozza's Menomonee Falls home at about 7:40 p.m. Friday, asking her to evacuate because of a series of brush fires in her neighborhood, Corozza thought about how bad the situation could be. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "‘It was really scary’: Here’s what Menomonee Falls residents experienced as a wildfire approached their homes," 6 Apr. 2021 But the optics and timing were bad, especially for political leaders such as San Francisco Mayor London Breed. Los Angeles Times, "Amid ‘huge tension,’ San Francisco set to formally suspend renaming of public schools," 6 Apr. 2021 Business at this golf resort was already bad before the pandemic. Dan Alexander, Forbes, "Donald Trump Tumbles Nearly 300 Spots In Billionaire Ranks," 6 Apr. 2021 That's not bad for an unrestricted free agent out of Old Dominion who was cut by two teams before playing a single snap in the NFL. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "How Colts WR Zach Pascal nearly doubled his 2020 salary with his play," 6 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Wanda and Captain Marvel, the only other female Avenger to helm her own property so far, are the two members of the team who could have defeated the big bad of the last two Avengers films, Thanos. New York Times, "What ‘WandaVision’ Gets Right (and Wrong) About Female Superheroes," 11 Mar. 2021 The accidental bumps and sorrys and quiet my bads create a low hum as the group finds its rhythm behind Jaydon. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "The Fine Line Campus Tour Guides Walk—Backwards," 29 Aug. 2019 And the true halfway point of Mr. Robot would’ve come sometime during S3, which ends by finally putting Elliot in direct odds with big bads White Rose and the Dark Army. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Mr. Robot S3: If you abandoned f-society last year, it’s time to come back," 14 Dec. 2017 Some good news to buffer the bad: Andreas Athanasiou will practice with the Detroit Red Wings Wednesday, and could be in the lineup this trip. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Red Wings lament lack of offense, look forward to Athanasiou's return," 25 Oct. 2017 Our big bads in the Hawkins federal lab seem to be ramping up to factor heavily into this modern theme. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Stranger Things 2: The hype strikes back, but the story alliance is ready," 31 Oct. 2017 Domestic Goods — and Bads: Robin Thicke and model girlfriend April Love Geary are expecting a baby. … Christie D'zurilla, latimes.com, "Did You Hear ... ? Late-night TV takes on Trump, Tom Cruise lands hard and more from the week in entertainment," 19 Aug. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb That looks like an early version of a respirator mask and surgical gown, but de Lorme devised the idea to protect not against germs, but against miasma – bad-smelling air which was believed, up until the 1800s, to be the source of diseases. Kiona N. Smith, Forbes, "A Look Behind The Plague Doctor Mask," 28 Feb. 2021 And nothing ruins an ambiance more than a bad-smelling candle. Courtney Campbell, USA TODAY, "The 10 worst things our readers bought in 2020—and what they wish they bought instead," 31 Dec. 2020 Staff would discourage a person from chewing on a foreign object by forcing them to hold a coarse rag dipped in a bad-tasting substance in their mouth. State Of Denial, ProPublica, "People with Developmental Disabilities Were Promised Help. Instead, They Face Delays and Denials.," 6 Nov. 2020 Overripe fruits and vegetables go bad faster, so choose the freshest produce available. Arriana Vasquez Wirecutter, Star Tribune, "It's fall. Time to refresh, reset and save," 9 Oct. 2020 But that might not be much comfort — economists are notoriously bad at predicting recessions. Ben Casselman, New York Times, "Will the Coronavirus Cause a Recession? Keep Your Eye on the Barbershops," 10 Mar. 2020 Hospitals are bad at patching Hospitals are notoriously bad at running up-to-date software and patching medical devices for their patients. Yael Grauer, Ars Technica, "Why is the healthcare industry still so bad at cybersecurity?," 9 Feb. 2020 Not bad a for a team whose rushing attack ranked 32nd in the league a year ago. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Cardinals' offensive line proved to be an unexpected source of durability and solid play," 1 Jan. 2020 And computer programs are notoriously bad at identifying people of color, especially women, and people with beards or wearing hijabs. Anchorage Daily News, "Federal facial recognition is coming to Sea-Tac Airport; Delta Air Lines will be first to use it," 24 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bad.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bad

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1c

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1c

Adverb

1575, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bad

Adjective

Middle English badde, bad, of obscure origin

Note: The Middle English word apparently appears as a surname or element in surnames in the 13th century, but as an independent adjective not before the 14th century. The supposed connection with the marginally attested Old English words bæddel, bædling (vowel length uncertain) "hermaphrodite, homosexual" is possible but uncertain (direct descent of badde from bæddel through phonetic reduction is unlikely).

Noun

Middle English badde, noun derivative of badde bad entry 1

Adverb

adverbial derivative of bad entry 1

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Time Traveler for bad

Time Traveler

The first known use of bad was in the 13th century

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Statistics for bad

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bad.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bad. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for bad

bad

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of bad

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: low or poor in quality
: not correct or proper
: not pleasant, pleasing, or enjoyable

bad

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bad (Entry 2 of 2)

: morally bad forces or influences
: the unpleasant things that happen to people
: things that are morally wrong

bad

adjective
\ ˈbad How to pronounce bad (audio) \
worse\ ˈwərs \; worst\ ˈwərst \

Kids Definition of bad

1 : not good : poor bad weather bad work
2 : not favorable a bad report bad times
3 : not fresh or sound bad meat
4 : not good or right : evil a bad person
5 : not behaving properly a bad dog
6 : not enough bad lighting
7 : unpleasant bad news
8 : harmful bad for the health
9 : serious sense 2, severe a bad cold in bad trouble
10 : not correct bad spelling bad manners
11 : not cheerful or calm a bad mood
12 : not healthy bad teeth He felt bad from a cold.
13 : sorry sense 1 I felt bad about my mistake.
14 : not skillful a bad musician

Other Words from bad

badness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for bad

bad, evil, and wicked mean not doing or being what is right. bad is used of anyone or anything that a person might dislike or find fault with. He had to stay after school for bad behavior. evil is a more powerful word than bad and is used for something of bad moral character. Criminals were planning evil deeds. wicked is used of someone or something that is truly and deliberately bad. He was a very wicked ruler who caused many people harm.

bad

adjective

Legal Definition of bad

: not valid : void bad notice especially : not covered by sufficient funds a bad check

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More from Merriam-Webster on bad

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bad

Nglish: Translation of bad for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bad for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bad

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