worse

1 of 3

adjective

comparative of bad

or of ill

1
: of more inferior quality, value, or condition
2
a
: 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

2 of 3

noun

: one that is worse
threatened expulsion and worse

worse

3 of 3

adverb

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
In the meantime, practicing some good nail care habits recommended by the National Psoriasis Foundation can help keep nail psoriasis from getting worse. Petra Guglielmetti, Glamour, 13 Feb. 2023 Donovan looked to the four-point deficit with a sense of relief — things could be much, much worse. Julia Poe, Chicago Tribune, 11 Feb. 2023
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, 27 Mar. 2018
Adverb
The extra weight made his asthma worse and put him in danger of developing diabetes, his doctor said. Jonel Aleccia, Fortune Well, 22 May 2024 Compared to summer 2020, more voters now say recent immigrants from Mexico and Latin America have made life in Arizona worse. Anthony Salvanto, CBS News, 19 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for worse 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'worse.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near worse

Cite this Entry

“Worse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worse. Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

worse

1 of 3 adjective

comparative of bad

or of ill

1
: of poorer quality, value, or condition
that car is in worse shape than the one you sold
2
a
: more unfavorable, unpleasant, or painful
a worse punishment
b
: more faulty, unsuitable, or incorrect
can't imagine worse ideas
c
: less skillful or efficient
worse than any mechanic I know
3
: being in poorer health
the child was worse the next day
4
: bad or evil in greater degree
whether stealing is worse than cheating

worse

2 of 3 noun
1
: something worse
threatened detention and worse
2
: a greater degree of ill or badness
a turn for the worse

worse

3 of 3 adverb

comparative of bad

or badly

or of ill

: in a worse manner : to a worse extent or degree
slept worse than ever

Medical Definition

worse

comparative of ill

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