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

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 Call a doctor if symptoms worsen, such as if the child seems disoriented or cannot drink. Emmarie Huetteman, CBS News, 3 Aug. 2022 If symptoms worsen, they are advised to see their doctor. Glenn Garner, PEOPLE.com, 31 July 2022 Beshear warned that more rain was expected in the upcoming days, and conditions could worsen. Nicole Acevedo, NBC News, 30 July 2022 As climate change effects worsen, such fires become an increasing threat to the durable, celebrated sequoia trees, and measures continue to be taken to protect the area. Kyla Guilfoil, ABC News, 15 July 2022 Exporting that food is necessary as pockets of starvation worsen around the world. Chloe Sorvino, Forbes, 16 June 2022 San Diego, Orange, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties have entered the medium COVID-19 community level, as case rates worsen across California. Los Angeles Times, 27 May 2022 As macroeconomic conditions worsen, there’s more scrutiny of strategic road maps that require tens of billions of dollars of investment before generating meaningful profits. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 25 May 2022 Investors saw Snap's news as yet another sign that U.S. companies’ earnings growth, which had been so stellar throughout 2021, is set to fall in the coming quarters as economic conditions worsen. Will Daniel, Fortune, 24 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of worsen

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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

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Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Worsen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worsen. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for worsen


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

Kids Definition of worsen

: to get worse His fever is worsening.

More from Merriam-Webster on worsen

Nglish: Translation of worsen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of worsen for Arabic Speakers


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