worse

adjective
\ ˈwərs \

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

Making matters even worse was the big blow in the frame was struck by none other than opposing starter Zack Wheeler, who sent a two-run single over the head of Santana in right. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 8, Mets 7: Timely hitting makes the difference in series victory," 27 May 2018 Far worse was back in 1997 when Crenshaw, just two years removed from his second green jacket, shot a sextuple-bogey 11 on No. Chris Chase, For The Win, "Has any Hall of Famer had a worse win-loss record than Joe Thomas?," 15 Mar. 2018 But what makes the odds even worse is PUBG's hard limit of six crate purchases a week, according to the FAQ. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "The rarest new PUBG items show up once every 80 years, on average," 9 Jan. 2018 Making matters worse, rising interest rates are upsetting the bond market and threatening to end the global economic growth party. Matthew Heimer, Fortune, "Here’s What the World’s Biggest Investor Thinks the Markets Will Do Next," 9 July 2018 Making matters worse, athletics director Sheahon Zenger was fired in May by Kansas chancellor Douglas Girod, who stated that football was a primary concern moving forward. Matt Murschel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Five college football coaches on the hot seat entering the 2018 season," 28 June 2018 Making matter worse, she was slapped with thousands of dollars in fees related to her incarceration. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "SF Supes eliminate local fees that many people exiting jail were made to pay," 22 May 2018 Making matters worse, the deal's inspection provisions lack adequate mechanisms to prevent, detect, and punish cheating, and don't even have the unqualified right to inspect many important locations, including military facilities. CNN, "READ: President Trump's announcement the US is withdrawing from Iran deal," 8 May 2018 Making it even worse, Pelicans' stars Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday did not attempt a free throw in the Warriors' 121-116 victory over the Pelicans on Tuesday (May 1). William Guillory, NOLA.com, "Pelicans searching for answers behind lack of free throws," 2 May 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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Statistics for 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 \

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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Comments on worse

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