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

Adverb he tends to perform poorly on standardized tests Adjective she stayed home because she was feeling poorly
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times via Getty Images—2020 Hindustan Times The Congress Party, the main opposition to the BJP at the national level, is running but expected to perform poorly. Time, "Delhi's State Elections Will Show If Narendra Modi's Divisive Politics Are Working," 7 Feb. 2020 On the other hand, Tesla could prove a thriving carmaker, and its stock could still perform poorly. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Tesla’s growth problem—by the numbers," 7 Feb. 2020 The campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden, who seems to have performed poorly, has lawyered up. Zeynep Tufekci, The Atlantic, "Who Needs the Russians?," 4 Feb. 2020 The last time Chinese stocks performed this poorly, the country was in the middle of a massive market meltdown. Laura He, CNN, "China could spend billions buying stocks if the coronavirus panic continues. It's done it before," 4 Feb. 2020 Those pitchers performed poorly during those games even though prior data suggested the player should have done well, the lawsuit argued. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, "DraftKings sports gambler sues MLB over sign-stealing scandal," 24 Jan. 2020 The driver still crossed the center line and performed poorly on field sobriety tests. Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State Police breath test probe sets off scramble to review cases," 15 Jan. 2020 One applicant was arrested and charged with using a fake birth certificate after performing poorly on the test. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "Georgia quizzed Puerto Rican license applicants about Puerto Rico to weed out fraud — but its test was faulty," 29 Dec. 2019 Despite its positive reviews and awards contention, the film has also performed poorly at the box office. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "‘Richard Jewell’ one of the best depictions of a Southerner in years," 27 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for poorly

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for poorly

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Poorly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poorly?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=p&file=poorly01. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for poorly


How to pronounce poorly (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for poorly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with poorly

Spanish Central: Translation of poorly

Nglish: Translation of poorly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of poorly for Arabic Speakers

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