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

Every time someone flushes, washes their hands or takes a shower, all that household wastewater (and worse) flows down into 7,500 miles of sewer pipes. Winnie Hu, The Seattle Times, "What happens when 25,000 Amazon workers flush toilets?," 11 Dec. 2018 Some things, the run defense for instance, have gotten worse. Bob Baum, The Seattle Times, "Wilks even-keeled in what could be last week as Cards coach," 24 Dec. 2018 Making matters worse was Mr. Modi’s harebrained decision two years ago to invalidate nearly 90% of India’s currency by value, which gutted many small businesses. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "Modi’s Party Crashes to Defeat, Casting Doubt on His Re-Election," 13 Dec. 2018 But not evacuating leads to its own major risks — making conditions that can already be bad in prisons even worse. German Lopez, Vox, "South Carolina won’t evacuate a prison in Hurricane Florence’s path," 12 Sep. 2018 And throughout 2017 and early 2018, Democrats generally did very well in obscure special elections, only to do somewhat worse in big races that attracted a ton of attention. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Why Stacey Abrams isn’t conceding yet," 7 Nov. 2018 That Qualcomm’s shares have done even worse is some consolation, but investors still seem to be wondering what to do with the hyper-acquisitive Broadcom in an environment in which huge global deals have become much harder to pull off. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Broadcom Doing Just Fine on its Own," 7 June 2018 Perhaps the Vatican calculated that with oppression getting worse, even a bad agreement might carve out some breathing room for its faithful on the Chinese mainland. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Vatican’s China Syndrome," 14 Sep. 2018 Days later, his pain and symptoms had gotten worse. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Explosive case of poop-packed “megacolon” prompts warning from doctors," 23 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 \

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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