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 For better or worse, Gunnell has plenty of experience in those situations. Michael Lev, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona football needs early start from Grant Gunnell, offense vs. USC," 13 Nov. 2020 The song was commissioned by a movie studio for a different artist, but like many Americans do every day, Williams simply aced a work assignment that, for better or worse, became his legacy. Brennan Kilbane, Allure, "Pharrell Dives Into the Beauty Business," 12 Nov. 2020 Different, not better or worse, Osterle emphasizes. Washington Post, "Sharing a home office with your partner? Here’s how to keep the peace.," 12 Nov. 2020 Cast your vote for the person or group of people who had the greatest influence on the events of the year—for better or worse. Time, "Who should be TIME's," 12 Nov. 2020 Louisiana's vulnerable coastline has been wracked by destructive hurricanes during the past two decades, damage made worse by rising sea levels attributed to climate change. Eric Niiler, Wired, "Can Biden Make Climate Progress With a Divided Congress? Actually, Yeah," 12 Nov. 2020 The construction industry can barely keep up with the demand, made worse after the pandemic disrupted global supply chains, driving up material prices. Mallory Moench, SFChronicle.com, "‘People are soul tired’: 2 years after the Camp Fire destroyed Paradise, only a fraction of homes have been rebuilt," 8 Nov. 2020 Forecasters say much of the county could end up receiving an inch or more of rain over the weekend, easing a wildfire threat that had been made worse by a recent series of Santa Ana wind events. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Greater San Diego will get second round of rain, wind, cold and possibly snow on Sunday," 7 Nov. 2020 For better or worse, NASCAR’s title-deciding format knocked the strongest team this season from contention for Sunday’s winner-take-all final four at Phoenix Raceway. Jenna Fryer, orlandosentinel.com, "Path to NASCAR title clear with Kevin Harvick out of the way," 6 Nov. 2020 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 for Chris is a spoiled rich kid with psychopathic tendencies who was none too happy to find coal under his tree on Christmas morning. Derek Lawrence, EW.com, "The biggest problem with Mel Gibson's Santa Claus movie Fatman is it's not bad enough," 17 Nov. 2020 The onset of winter threatens to make an already difficult situation even worse. Michael Agnew, Star Tribune, "How Twin Cities breweries are preparing for winter's 'game of survivor'," 12 Nov. 2020 And to make things even worse, the birthday girl reportedly asked attendees not to post anything from the event to social media. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "Kendall Jenner’s Halloween Birthday Party Was Somehow Even Worse Than Kim Kardashian’s Birthday Trip," 2 Nov. 2020 Making matters even worse, the Niners have only three days of rest to mend those injuries before a showdown with the Packers. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "NFL Week 8 winners, losers: Mike Tomlin has Steelers looking like legitimate Super Bowl contender," 2 Nov. 2020 Making matters worse: The 49ers (4-4) need to turn around and play Thursday night against the Packers. Eric Branch, SFChronicle.com, "Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle limp off in 49ers’ 37-27 loss to Seahawks," 1 Nov. 2020 The flu season could make the coronavirus pandemic even worse. Holly Yan, CNN, "7 ways to stay healthy (and sane) during the fall coronavirus surge," 17 Oct. 2020 The opening minutes didn’t go according to plan for Boston, which missed 11 of its first 12 shots, committed four turnovers in that dismal stretch to make matters even worse, and got into a 17-5 hole very early. Tim Reynolds, courant.com, "Celtics control second half, top Heat to win Game 5 in East," 25 Sep. 2020 Even worse, an unmanned aircraft system, aka drone, was used in Minneapolis on May 29. Samuel Woolley, Wired, "We Need to Know Who's Surveilling Protests—and Why," 3 Nov. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for worse

Last Updated

17 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Worse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worse. Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for worse

worse

adjective
How to pronounce worse (audio)

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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Comments on worse

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