bad·​ly | \ ˈbad-lē How to pronounce badly (audio) \

Definition of badly

1 : in a bad manner played badly
2 : to a great or intense degree want something badly
badly off for
: strongly in need of (something or someone) It may seem pie in the sky in the current financial climate, but few could argue that for a city of its size and prestige, Edinburgh is badly off for large-scale sports facilities.The Evening News (Edinburgh)
not badly
: fairly or acceptably well The economy is doing not badly and looks even better than it really is.— Tom Teepen
think badly of
: to have an unfavorable or low opinion of (someone or something) "You shouldn't think badly of the town because of this," said Brogan. "It is a good town."— Neil Gaiman

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Examples of badly in a Sentence

He played badly but I played even worse. The failure reflects badly on the administration. She wanted the job badly. I'm badly in need of a vacation. His fingers were badly frozen.
Recent Examples on the Web Those results beat expectations and calmed Wall Street's nerves about the streaming market after Netflix (NFLX) missed so badly with its user growth last month. Frank Pallotta, CNN, 11 May 2022 That’s why, by the way, the Illuminati lose so badly. Chris Smith, BGR, 10 May 2022 Why does Russia want to capture the plant so badly? Peter Weber, The Week, 5 May 2022 Villanueva missed his mark so badly that even his loud-mouthed campaign manager, Javier Gonzalez — who has long trolled Tchekmedyian on Twitter — has been as silent as Marcel Marceau. Los Angeles Times, 27 Apr. 2022 One of the bodies is burned so badly it could be mistaken for a log charred by a forest fire. Washington Post, 27 Apr. 2022 The subsequent trip went so badly that Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping threatened to retake Hong Kong in a single day. Louisa Lim, WSJ, 22 Apr. 2022 People have been manipulated so badly into having this debate. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 6 Apr. 2022 The Vati and Ika tribes, each with four people trying to work together, flailed so badly at the same task that Probst finally called it off. al, 23 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'badly.' 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 badly

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for badly

Time Traveler

The first known use of badly was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near badly

bad luck


badly off

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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Badly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for badly


bad·​ly | \ ˈbad-lē How to pronounce badly (audio) \
worse\ ˈwərs \; worst\ ˈwərst \

Kids Definition of badly

1 : in a bad manner He behaved badly.
2 : very much I badly wanted to win.

More from Merriam-Webster on badly

Nglish: Translation of badly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of badly for Arabic Speakers


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