worst

adjective
\ ˈwərst How to pronounce worst (audio) \

Definition of worst

 (Entry 1 of 4)

superlative of bad

or of ill

1 : most corrupt, bad, evil, or ill his worst fault
2a : most unfavorable, difficult, unpleasant, or painful the worst news your worst enemy
b : most unsuitable, faulty, unattractive, or ill-conceived has the worst table manners
c : least skillful or efficient the worst person for the job
3 : most wanting in quality, value, or condition the worst results
the worst way
: very much such men … need indoctrination the worst way— J. G. Cozzens often used with in wanted a new bicycle in the worst way

worst

adverb

Definition of worst (Entry 2 of 4)

superlative of ill

or illy

or of bad

or badly

1 : to the extreme degree of badness or inferiority the worst dressed person
2 : to the greatest or highest degree groups who need the subsidies worst lose out— T. W. Arnold

worst

noun
plural worst

Definition of worst (Entry 3 of 4)

: one that is worst
at worst
: under the worst circumstances

worst

verb
worsted; worsting; worsts

Definition of worst (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

: to get the better of : defeat

Examples of worst in a Sentence

Adjective This is the worst car I've ever bought. In my opinion, it's her worst book. It was the worst movie I've ever seen. His worst quality is his impatience. This has got to be the worst day of my life. The worst part of working there is the long commute. My worst fears came true. He lives in the worst area of the city. He is the worst singer I've ever heard. They're the worst team ever. Adverb My sister was hurt worst. the areas worst hit by the drought She was voted the worst-dressed celebrity of 2005. Noun What's the worst that can happen? When it comes to dancing, he is the worst. That movie was the worst! He is the worst of the bunch. He is one of the worst in the class. Even in the worst of times, she was hopeful. It's still raining, but the worst of the storm is over now. The worst of it is, I don't even know how to contact her. The company was operating on high costs and low prices—the worst of both worlds. Verb how humiliating for a tennis champ to be worsted by a player no one had ever heard of See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The state's overall COVID-19 death and case rates since Jan. 21, 2020 still remain among the worst in the country. Alison Steinbach, The Arizona Republic, 4 May 2022 The fly isn't exactly the worst exercise, but for decades the general strength training community has blindly relied on using dumbbells and a bench for getting that solid squeeze on our pecs. Jeff Tomko, Men's Health, 4 May 2022 The best songs rarely did poorly, and the worst rarely did well. Lydia Denworth, Scientific American, 4 May 2022 In mid-January, their worst fears were confirmed — Megan and her children were dead and Megan’s husband, the children’s father, had been living in the house with their bodies. Taylor Hartz, Orlando Sentinel, 27 Apr. 2022 In mid-January, their worst fears were confirmed — Megan and her children were dead and Megan’s husband, the children’s father, had been living in the house with their bodies. Taylor Hartz, Hartford Courant, 25 Apr. 2022 But some unlucky people's worst fears are realized -- and sometimes, that means losing precious items of huge sentimental value. Julia Buckley, CNN, 22 Apr. 2022 The Unofficials weren’t permitted to be present, and their worst fears were quickly realized. Louisa Lim, WSJ, 22 Apr. 2022 From the article: That combination makes the discovery of the system, dubbed Pipedream by industrial control security experts Dragos, the realization of the worst fears of longtime cybersecurity experts. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 14 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb This draft is a big reason why Jacksonville could go from worst to first this season. Baltimore Sun, 20 Apr. 2022 Trae Young was held to a career-worst-tying 1-for-12 shooting and a season-low eight points by a swarming Miami defense on Sunday. oregonlive, 19 Apr. 2022 Daniel Caesar had a peachy keen performance thanks in part to Justin Bieber — a guest performance that was arguably day one’s worst kept secret. Lyndsey Havens, Billboard, 16 Apr. 2022 The Mark Wahlberg vehicle remains one of Rotten Tomatoes' worst-scoring films of all time. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 6 Apr. 2022 The worst-kept secret in Milwaukee Brewers camp has finally been revealed. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 29 Mar. 2022 Of course, the worst traditional public schools are under-enrolled because parents of means left long ago. Robert Maranto, National Review, 28 Mar. 2022 Utah consistently ranks worst in the nation in equitable pay for women, Mendenhall noted. Blake Apgar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 25 Mar. 2022 The intrusions were part of what officials and experts considered to be the worst known hack in the U.S. power system and included attacks on hundreds of small contractors, the Journal reported. Dustin Volz, WSJ, 24 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun If this is Warhol at his provocative worst, at least the exhibition for the most part reveals Warhol at his colorful and kitschy best. John J. Miller, National Review, 19 Dec. 2019 Shortly after taking office in July, Mr Johnson confirmed his critics’ worst fears by suspending Parliament in order to try to stop it from legislating against no-deal. The Economist, 21 Dec. 2019 But here’s my follow-up question that shows how conflicted this season really is: Does the front office want the Dolphins to win these next three games against the bad Jets, awful Giants and worst-in-the-world Bengals? Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, 3 Dec. 2019 The offense managed to score only 22 total points against the Hilltoppers, Volunteers and Golden Eagles, and was held to less than 300 yards each time out and three of its four worst rushing performances of the season. Evan Dudley, al, 12 Nov. 2019 The effect was most clearly seen around the three-year Red Sox whiplash era of worst-to-first-to-worst again from 2012-14. BostonGlobe.com, 30 Sep. 2019 Before departing, get a copy of everyone’s travel information in case of worst-scenario situations. Dan Q. Dao, Condé Nast Traveler, 23 Sep. 2019 The team’s hope was to create more takeaways after finishing with NFL worsts of two interceptions and seven forced turnovers in 2018. Si Wire, SI.com, 15 Sep. 2019 Another strange, strange window, and perhaps my choices for best and worst might be controversial. SI.com, 10 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As with most rating systems, the Medicare star rating helps rank plans from best (5 stars) to worst (1 star). The Oregonian/oregonlive And Nerdwallet, oregonlive, 10 Oct. 2021 Turkey’s disinflationary momentum is staying intact even after the lira suffered the emerging world’s worst depreciation last month against the dollar. Taylan Bilgic, Bloomberg.com, 5 May 2020 OUTLOOK Chicago allowed a whopping 291 goals last season, second worst in the league behind Ottawa, and finished with the NHL’s worst penalty kill at 72.7%. San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Sep. 2019 Europe’s worst hit countries - Italy, Spain, and France - saw coronavirus death tolls declining this weekend as weeks of lockdowns prove effective. David Clark Scott, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 Apr. 2020 Maryland officials late Saturday reported the deaths of three additional residents at Pleasant View Nursing Home in Carroll County, bringing the death toll at the site of the state’s worst outbreak to nine. Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2020 As the country battles Europe’s worst outbreak after Italy, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced plans for even tighter restrictions on public life, ordering those who work in nonessential services to stay home during the Easter period. Boris Groendahl, BostonGlobe.com, 30 Mar. 2020 The fact that Richards is 75.4% from the free throw line makes him a more viable option than most big men in that scenario when the opponent is looking to send the team’s worst free throw shooter to the line. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, 24 Feb. 2020 Here are three takeaways from the Aggies’ loss to the Gamecocks: Gamecocks roll over the Aggies Saturday was one of A&M’s worst games this season with the Aggies suffering their third-most lopsided loss of the year. Alex Miller, Dallas News, 8 Feb. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'worst.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of worst

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1636, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for worst

Adjective

Middle English werste, worste, from Old English wierresta, wyrsta, superlative of the root of Old English wiersa worse

Learn More About worst

Time Traveler for worst

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for worst

Last Updated

6 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Worst.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worst. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for worst

worst

adjective
\ ˈwərst How to pronounce worst (audio) \

Kids Definition of worst

 (Entry 1 of 4)

superlative of bad

or of ill

1 : most bad, ill, or evil
2 : most unfavorable, difficult, or unpleasant This is the worst day of my life.
3 : least appropriate or acceptable You came at the worst time.
4 : least skillful the worst player
5 : most troubled That is the worst part of the city.

worst

adverb

Kids Definition of worst (Entry 2 of 4)

superlative of ill

or of badly

: in the worst way possible He was hurt worst.

worst

noun

Kids Definition of worst (Entry 3 of 4)

: a person or thing that is worst What's the worst that can happen?

worst

verb
worsted; worsting

Kids Definition of worst (Entry 4 of 4)

: to get the better of : defeat

worst

Medical Definition of worst

superlative of ill

More from Merriam-Webster on worst

Nglish: Translation of worst for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of worst for Arabic Speakers

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