worse

adjective
\ ˈwərs How to pronounce worse (audio) \

Definition of worse

 (Entry 1 of 3)

comparative of bad

or of ill

1 : of more inferior quality, value, or condition
2a : more unfavorable, difficult, unpleasant, or painful
b : more faulty, unsuitable, or incorrect
c : less skillful or efficient
3 : bad, evil, or corrupt in a greater degree : more reprehensible
4 : being in poorer health : sicker

worse

noun

Definition of worse (Entry 2 of 3)

: one that is worse threatened expulsion and worse

worse

adverb

Definition of worse (Entry 3 of 3)

comparative of bad

or badly

or of ill

or illy

1 : in a worse manner : to a worse extent or degree
2 : what is worse

Examples of worse in a Sentence

Adjective

His schoolwork got worse after his parents split up. Her second book was worse than her first one. Her first book was bad, but her second one is even worse. This one is no worse than that one. Could the situation get any worse? You have even worse luck than I do. It turned out to be a worse idea than we originally thought. She ended up in worse shape than when she started. Things are bad for him now, but he was in a worse situation last week. Cheer up. Things could be worse, you know.

Noun

I didn't want to tell her that worse was yet to come. Her accusations don't bother me. I've been accused of worse. When I lost my job, my life took a turn for the worse.

Adverb

I did much worse on my second try. You drive worse than he does. That isn't an excellent score, but you could have done worse. She was hurt worse than I was.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Worse case: James leaves so Altman pays Thomas to form a superstar duo with Love and explores trades for a third star with his lottery pick. Ben Golliver, SI.com, "Koby Altman's Magic Act Lets LeBron Know There's Life After Kyrie," 23 Aug. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

What made the prejudice worse was that the entire institutional infrastructure of college basketball was in on it; coaches, athletic directors and alumni. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "Loyola’s legacy: Rejecting racial preference in pursuit of excellence," 27 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

To make matters even worse, starting tackle Cordy Glenn has remained in concussion protocol since the second preseason game and the Bengals saw two other offensive line starters injured Sunday. Adam Baum, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Bengals offensive line issues amplified with injuries in lopsided loss to 49ers," 16 Sep. 2019 AT&T’s confusion went beyond mobile app AT&T's naming problem goes beyond app store descriptions, as Cord Cutters News reported a few days ago: To make matters even worse, most tech support for AT&T TV Now is labeled AT&T TV on AT&T's website. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "AT&T’s confusing mess of online TV services even has AT&T confused," 4 Sep. 2019 In addition, the acute shortage of CBP officers on the border has only gotten worse. Anchorage Daily News, "How fentanyl flowed through the U.S. Postal Service and across the southern border," 25 Aug. 2019 Climate change will make those threats even worse, as floods, drought, storms, and other types of extreme weather threaten to disrupt, and over time shrink, the global food supply. Christopher Flavelle, BostonGlobe.com, "Climate change threatens the world’s food supply, United Nations warns," 8 Aug. 2019 To make matters worse, her relationship with her boyfriend, anthropology grad student Christian (Jack Reynor) is on shaky ground. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "Midsommar Makes Haunting Horror Out Of Sunlight & Flower Crowns," 28 June 2019 To make matters even worse, David Anderson and Shira Polan write for Business Insider, goldfish are known to migrate across multiple bodies of water. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Giant Goldfish Shows Why You Should Never Flush Fish Down the Toilet," 26 June 2019 To make matters worse, her cat Cupcake, her other cat Sophie and her dog Nova sleep in her bed right next to her face. Khadeeja Safdar, WSJ, "My Cat Allergy Is Killing Me, but Cupcake Stays," 28 Mar. 2019 In short, when bad things happen inside institutions, the ingredients are already there to make things even worse. Tamara Lush, Fox News, "Sex scandals fester at unhealthy organizations, experts say," 18 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'worse.' 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 worse

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for worse

Adjective

Middle English werse, worse, from Old English wiersa, wyrsa; akin to Old High German wirsiro worse

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Time Traveler for worse

The first known use of worse was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for worse

worse

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of worse

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: lower in quality
: less pleasant, attractive, appealing, effective, useful, etc.
: more serious or severe

worse

noun

English Language Learners Definition of worse (Entry 2 of 3)

: something that is worse

worse

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of worse (Entry 3 of 3)

: in a worse way
used to say that what is going to be described is worse than what was mentioned before

worse

adjective
\ ˈwərs How to pronounce worse (audio) \

Kids Definition of worse

 (Entry 1 of 3)

comparative of bad

or of ill

1 : more bad or evil Is cheating worse than lying?
2 : being in poorer health The child was worse the next day.
3 : more unfavorable, difficult, or unpleasant a worse punishment
4 : of poorer quality, value, or condition This car is worse than that one.
5 : less skillful I practice, but keep getting worse.
6 : less happy She made me feel worse.
7 : more faulty or unsuitable His idea was even worse.

worse

noun

Kids Definition of worse (Entry 2 of 3)

: something worse I suffered insults and worse.

worse

adverb

Kids Definition of worse (Entry 3 of 3)

comparative of badly

or of ill

: not as well : in a worse way I hate getting lost worse than anything.

worse

Medical Definition of worse

comparative of ill

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More from Merriam-Webster on worse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with worse

Spanish Central: Translation of worse

Nglish: Translation of worse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of worse for Arabic Speakers

Comments on worse

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