poor·​ly | \ ˈpu̇r-lē How to pronounce poorly (audio) , ˈpȯr- \

Definition of poorly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in a poor condition or manner especially : in an inferior or imperfect way : badly sang poorly



Definition of poorly (Entry 2 of 2)

: somewhat ill : indisposed

Examples of poorly in a Sentence

Adverb he tends to perform poorly on standardized tests Adjective she stayed home because she was feeling poorly
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Now comes an unexpected and still poorly understood new phenomenon that may create additional public health confusion regarding contagiousness. Kent Sepkowitz, CNN, 10 May 2022 Pre-release publicity portrayed We as a reset after 2017’s poorly received—but fitfully wonderful—Everything Now. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 5 May 2022 And who can forget a certain soda brand's poorly-received attempt to weigh in on #BlackLivesMatter a few years ago? Yael Klass, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 These rocks are now at the surface, but how this happens is still poorly understood. San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Apr. 2022 Epigenetics is an emerging and still poorly understood field. New York Times, 9 Apr. 2022 The Razzies, which have skewered poorly received films and performances since 1980, dedicated an entire category to Willis this year, nominating eight films for Worst Performance by Bruce Willis in a 2021 Movie. Lester Fabian Brathwaite, EW.com, 1 Apr. 2022 Oscar Garcia, a former plant supervisor, told the Guardian that workers were poorly treated. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 28 Apr. 2022 During the afternoon news conference, officials described East Deutschtown, which is divided by a highway, as a neighborhood that had been run down and poorly maintained before becoming increasingly gentrified. New York Times, 17 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Story will be a free agent and at this stage why would an accomplished player stay with the poorly run Rockies? BostonGlobe.com, 27 Mar. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of poorly


13th century, in the meaning defined above


1570, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for poorly

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near poorly

poor law


poorly kept secret

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Statistics for poorly

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Poorly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poorly. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on poorly

Nglish: Translation of poorly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of poorly for Arabic Speakers


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