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

Around the Water Cooler Brexit Scenarios BuzzFeed scored a peek at the U.K. government’s own analysis of various Brexit scenarios, and reports that all of them point to the country being worse off outside the European Union. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Change the World, McCabe Out, Oligarch List: CEO Daily for January 30, 2018," 30 Jan. 2018 The 450,000 registered Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are generally seen as worse off. David M. Halbfinger, New York Times, "U.S. Funding Cut Reignites Debate on Palestinian Refugee Agency," 17 Jan. 2018 Then the chaos ended with a funeral, and the quiet proved far worse. Claire Galofaro, The Seattle Times, "Moms of the dead from drugs: “Where is the outrage for us?”," 29 Jan. 2019 Compared with competitors, JD.com has fared worse in recent months as the company dealt with the fallout from the Aug. 31 arrest of Mr. Liu in Minneapolis on suspicion of rape. Shan Li, WSJ, "China’s JD.com Plans $1 Billion Share Buyback," 26 Dec. 2018 Pro-Brexit politicians made matters worse with cavalier attitudes to Britain’s partners in Dublin that damaged trust. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Road to a Bad Brexit," 10 Dec. 2018 Making matters worse is the presence of the powerful psychic Thale (Sam Strike), whom Karl believes is key to communicating with the volcryn. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "George R.R. Martin’s Nightflyers asks whether humanity deserves to be saved," 29 Nov. 2018 The issue with teens juuling is that their brains aren't fully developed yet, so any affect the Juul's have on the brain is made worse in young kids. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Here’s Everything You Need To Know About the Juul Flavor Ban," 15 Nov. 2018 Making matters worse, Frickel explains, is the current system of site investigation and cleanup. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Booming postindustrial neighborhoods often overlook polluted past," 9 Oct. 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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