bad

adjective
\ ˈbad How to pronounce bad (audio) \
worse\ ˈwərs How to pronounce worse (audio) \; worst\ ˈwərst How to pronounce worst (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 4 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

Choose the Right Synonym for bad

Adjective

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.

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

Guards told her crying would only make her situation worse. Anita Chabria, Los Angeles Times, "Refugee mothers separated at border to sue Trump administration for $3 million each," 17 July 2019 Even an east wind can make matters worse by pushing waves onto the docks and shoreline. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "High water levels foreshadow huge cost of climate change in Michigan," 16 July 2019 Making up random or absurd answers — which United discourages by the use of drop-down menus designed to thwart spyware that monitors keystrokes — only seems to make the recall problem worse, researchers found. Eric Zorn, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Online security questions have become a whale of a weird idea," 16 July 2019 Cities should partner with local developers to create more housing for current and future residents; otherwise, the county’s existing shortage will get worse, said Wallace Walrod, chief economic advisor for the Business Council. Priscella Vega, Daily Pilot, "Report calls on area cities to create more housing to ease county shortage," 16 July 2019 To make matters worse, the Blackjewel coal company deposited money in their bank accounts and then immediately clawed it back, leaving cars to be repossessed, child support to go unpaid and utilities to be shut off. Joseph Gerth, The Courier-Journal, "'This speaks to my heart': Catholic priest gives money to laid-off Eastern Kentucky miners," 15 July 2019 Since the number of young doctors entering those specialty fields trails the older practitioners who are leaving, the shortage in specialties crucial to seniors will only get worse. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Trouble Seeing a Specialist? Here’s What’s Driving the ‘Doctor Draught’," 15 July 2019 Spring break has brought its normal chaos to Neptune, and things get worse when a bomb goes off at a seaside hotel, prompting fears of a serial killer. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Veronica Mars' Season 4: TV Review," 15 July 2019 But the answer to the disgust problem isn’t a fix to the accessibility problem; in fact, achieving one may make the other worse. Maryn Mckenna, WIRED, "The Death of a Patient and the Future of Fecal Transplants," 11 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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

An Arizona Department of Child Safety report orders a parent to keep their court hearings and DCS meetings secret from news media, politicians and anyone who may bad-mouth the government. Arizona Republic, "Did Arizona Department of Child Services try to bar parents from criticizing it?," 16 July 2019 And though Koepka will have to wait another month before going for major No. 5, at the British Open at Royal Portrush, his résumé didn’t take too bad a hit. Eddie Pells, BostonGlobe.com, "Brooks Koepka sparkles in US Open but settles for second," 17 June 2019 And though Koepka will have to wait another month before going for major No. 5, at the British Open at Royal Portrush, his resume didn’t take too bad a hit. Eddie Pells, The Denver Post, "Brooks Koepka makes U.S. Open history, but no 3 in a row," 17 June 2019 Mirroring the Scientology custom whereby anyone who bad-mouths the church is ostracized as a nonperson, the practice smacks of a cult. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "Cruel and Unusual Punishment," 10 Feb. 2019 Apart from all the hurricane of all that fire coming up real bad. Mark Phillips, CBS News, "97-year-old former paratrooper makes another jump 75 years after D-Day," 5 June 2019 As bad a beating as the left took this year, losses may be starker and deeper in years to come. The Economist, "Justice Kennedy is retiring. What happens now?," 30 June 2018 While survey data might be more representative, people are notoriously bad at reporting their own behaviors. Rani Molla, Recode, "Americans seem to like ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. But it’s hard to say exactly how many use them.," 24 June 2018 Not bad a for a team that has had trouble finding the net all season. Jeremy Fuchs, SI.com, "Power Rankings: Are the Lightning and Predators on a Stanley Cup Final Crash Course?," 12 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for bad

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bad

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

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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

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bad

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bad

Spanish Central: Translation of bad

Nglish: Translation of bad for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bad for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bad

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