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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The Pirates looked like a weary, overmatched team that badly needed something to go right to get some momentum. Gentry Estes, The Courier-Journal, "3 takeaways from Louisville baseball's dream NCAA Super Regional," 8 June 2019 The cause of the fire, which badly damaged the home, was under investigation Thursday evening. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Imperial Beach fire damages home, injures 21-year-old man," 6 June 2019 Just how badly do people want that shiplap-happy style Jo has made famous? Michele Petry, House Beautiful, "Chip and Joanna Gaines's Signature Style May Be Inspiring People to Steal Reclaimed Wood," 17 Apr. 2019 Season eight has been badly written, hopelessly rushed, stubbornly sexist, poorly acted, strangely static, and way too spectacle-driven. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "The Game of Thrones Backlash Is Here—And That’s a Good Thing," 15 May 2019 Passing directly beneath the hole in the ozone layer, Swan's face became badly burned and his eyes even changed color. Christina Capatides, CBS News, "Expedition Antarctica: A father and son's journey to save the planet," 22 June 2018 The June 2017 incident killed ten sailors and badly damaged the ship, forcing the Navy to bring it back to the United States for repairs. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Stricken Destroyer USS Fitzgerald Leaves Drydock," 18 Apr. 2019 The glamorous getaway was badly damaged by Hurricane Irma in 2017, and recently re-opened after undergoing massive renovations. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Pippa Middleton Is on a Glamorous Post-Baby Vacation," 3 Jan. 2019 Workers are busy laying the foundation of a new apartment tower to replace hers, which was badly damaged and later razed. Fox News, "Damaged buildings, graft haunt Mexico City year after quake," 18 Sep. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near badly

bad loan

bad lot

bad luck


badly off



Statistics for badly

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for badly

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

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English Language Learners Definition of badly

: in a bad manner
: very much : to a great degree
: severely or seriously


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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on badly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with badly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for badly

Spanish Central: Translation of badly

Nglish: Translation of badly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of badly for Arabic Speakers

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