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 The quick work prevented an escalating domestic-violence situation from getting worse, and kept a woman off the street. Mary Jo Pitzl, Arizona Republic, "When police officers need quick help for people in distress, this Phoenix charity answers the call," 24 Nov. 2019 There are a number of ways people can help combat the superbug problem and prevent it from getting worse. Erika Edwards, NBC News, "Dangerous superbugs kill more people than previously thought," 13 Nov. 2019 With Surfacing, Jamie doesn’t join the chorus of voices calling for immediate action to prevent the effects of climate change from getting worse. Jake Cline, The Atlantic, "Nature Writing That Sees Possibility in Climate Change," 22 Sep. 2019 African Americans are much worse prepared for retirement, for instance, than whites are. Christian Weller, The Conversation, "Reparations are essential to eliminating the substantial wealth gap between black and white Americans," 17 Sep. 2019 Threats of violent incursion remain severe for Zakouma but are worse still for Garamba National Park, in the northeastern corner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). David Quammen, National Geographic, "To save wildlife, African governments turn to private management," 12 Nov. 2019 This is the case even though, materially, black and Latino Americans are often worse off than white Americans. Mark Trumbull, The Christian Science Monitor, "Surveying hope: Can US instill optimism in regions of ‘despair’?," 5 Nov. 2019 Those numbers are even worse against Power 5 teams, when Auburn has averaged just 6.2 points per second quarter in five games against high-level opponents. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, "Auburn trying to buck trend of 2nd-quarter offensive woes against LSU," 24 Oct. 2019 Elton John’s mom tries to ruin his civil partnership ceremony For as awful as his mother (played by Bryce Dallas Howard) comes across in Rocketman, the evidence against her in the book is actually far worse. EW.com, "The most dramatic moments in Elton John’s memoir that you didn’t see in Rocketman," 15 Oct. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of worse was before the 12th century

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Statistics for worse

Cite this Entry

“Worse.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worses. Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for worse

worse

adjective
How to pronounce worse (audio)

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

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