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

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Examples of poorly in a Sentence


he tends to perform poorly on standardized tests


she stayed home because she was feeling poorly

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Researchers found that women perform better on math and verbal tasks in higher temperatures, while men perform more poorly. Kara Alaimo, Twin Cities, "Kara Alaimo: The great corporate female freeze-out," 4 June 2019 Honestly, the only way this could get better is if Meghan was involved (who, FYI, Oprah defended recently about how poorly the press has treated her). Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Prince Harry and Oprah's Apple TV Plus Series Will Focus on Mental Health," 10 Apr. 2019 Kids of permissive parents are more likely to do poorly in school, and there are poor social and emotional consequences as well. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Five Types of Parenting Styles, Explained — And How They Affect Kids, According to Experts," 1 Apr. 2019 Anyone who treats you poorly for talking about STIs (or having one) probably isn’t worth it. Kasandra Brabaw, SELF, "How to Talk to Your Partner About Getting Tested With Minimal Weirdness," 25 Mar. 2019 And to further muddy the situation, television news outlets handled the situation poorly, allowing themselves to be used as a source of misinformation during their attempts to cover the new report. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Trump administration organizes pushback against its own climate report," 3 Dec. 2018 There’s David Cross handling an interview really poorly with his friend Jessica of 15 years. Lisa Miller, The Cut, "The Weaponized Amber Tamblyn," 8 July 2018 Btw, the whole thing has been handled poorly, but no ONE person is to blame. Jodi Guglielmi, PEOPLE.com, "Lethal Weapon Guest-Star Defends Clayne Crawford After Firing: 'No One Is Perfect'," 17 May 2018 Herschman, who said his restaurant employs and attracts a diverse group of people and does not tolerate discrimination in his business, offered an apology and said the situation was handled poorly. Justin Madden, cleveland.com, "Police called to Cleveland Heights restaurant after brunch dispute," 11 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of poorly


13th century, in the meaning defined above


1570, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for poorly

Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for poorly

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

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More Definitions for poorly



English Language Learners Definition of poorly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in a poor or bad manner : in a way that is not good or satisfactory



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

British, informal : somewhat ill

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More from Merriam-Webster on poorly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with poorly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for poorly

Spanish Central: Translation of poorly

Nglish: Translation of poorly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of poorly for Arabic Speakers

Comments on poorly

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standardized text or formulaic language

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