wors·​en | \ ˈwər-sᵊn How to pronounce worsen (audio) \
worsened; worsening\ ˈwərs-​niŋ , ˈwər-​sᵊn-​iŋ How to pronounce worsen (audio) \

Definition of worsen

intransitive verb

: to become worse the weather began to worsen

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Examples of worsen in a Sentence

Spending more money is only going to worsen the problem. the condition of the house worsened with every year of neglect
Recent Examples on the Web Deaths by suicide have skyrocketed in Ohio over the past decade, and mental health experts worried the pandemic could worsen the crisis. Evan Macdonald, cleveland, 15 June 2021 During the Waterville emergency meeting, a City Council member, Thomas Klepach, expressed concern that climate change could worsen infestations in years to come. New York Times, 13 June 2021 Whoever wins, political instability could worsen under the next government, Tuesta also warns, as congressional groups tend to divide over the course of a five-year term. Claudia Rebaza, CNN, 5 June 2021 More contagious variants could worsen matters, the model warns. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, 22 May 2021 Anxiety could worsen your brain's ability to recall those old skills, Petersen said. BostonGlobe.com, 17 May 2021 Walensky also warned that there's always a chance the pandemic situation could worsen, and the nation may need to return to pieces of the earlier guidance. CBS News, 14 May 2021 Some experts warned that conducting a massive inoculation effort now could worsen the surge in a country that is second only to the United States in its number of infections — more than 19.1 million. Author: Aniruddha Ghosal, Maria Cheng, Anchorage Daily News, 2 May 2021 The surging real estate grab for LEO orbital slots has raised concerns about congestion, which could worsen as satellite operators in other countries launch mega-constellations of their own in similar orbits. Mike Freeman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'worsen.' 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 worsen

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Time Traveler for worsen

Time Traveler

The first known use of worsen was in the 13th century

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Statistics for worsen

Last Updated

18 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Worsen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worsen. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for worsen



English Language Learners Definition of worsen

: to make (something) worse or to become worse


wors·​en | \ ˈwər-sᵊn How to pronounce worsen (audio) \
worsened; worsening

Kids Definition of worsen

: to get worse His fever is worsening.


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