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

It's been an issue on Girard Drive for a long time, USPS spokeswoman Susan Wright said, but it's gotten worse recently. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Dogs are running loose on one Louisville street, so mail carriers stopped delivering," 28 June 2019 Flare-ups might seem bad, but the scarring that is left behind is often worse, because the skin on your face takes a long time to heal. Em Ford, Teen Vogue, "10 Things I Wish People Knew About Acne," 27 June 2019 Mr Frey is concerned that automation will leave many people worse off in the short term, leading to unrest and opposition, which could in turn slow the pace of automation and productivity growth. The Economist, "Confessions of an accidental doom-monger," 27 June 2019 Even comparing only poorer areas, black neighborhoods fare worse. USA Today, "Seniors were sold a risk-free retirement with reverse mortgages. Now they face foreclosure.," 12 June 2019 Two recent meta-analyses concluded that amplifying the natural wound current with electrical stimulation prevented them all from getting worse, and even healed some of the worst ones completely. Sally Adee, Quartz, "Our bodies are full of electricity that could help us fight cancer," 30 May 2019 Yet machine learning is rife with cautionary tales of programs that confused arms with dumbbells (or worse). Quanta Magazine, "How Artificial Intelligence Can Supercharge the Search for New Particles," 23 July 2018 Making matters worse, the team started 5-0 last year before dropping seven straight to close the year. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, "College Football Rankings: No. 73 Colorado hopes changes at top lead to more wins," 15 June 2019 The shop owners say construction on Northeast Second Avenue, which has reduced the four-lane, high-traffic road to two lanes for the past several months, has eaten into their business, making the timing of the eviction notice even worse. Rene Rodriguez, miamiherald, "These Little Haiti businesses have a new landlord: a developer who wants them out | Miami Herald," 27 Apr. 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 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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