worst

adjective
\ˈwərst \

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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

To put that in perspective, the Cowboys have had 34 games with a 100-yard rusher since then, and the next-worst team, the Colts, have had four. Kalyn Kahler, SI.com, "NFC North Offseason Report Cards: Vikings Go All-In for Kirk Cousins, Packers Bring in TE Help," 21 June 2018 Meanwhile, a new survey ranks, S.F., New York City, D.C., Detroit and Oakland, as worst run cities. Fox News, "President Trump puts NATO on notice," 12 July 2018 To see the top ten and worst ten first-time jobs, go through the photos in the gallery above. Heather Leighton, Houston Chronicle, "These are the best, worst entry-level jobs for 2018, according to WalletHub report," 26 Apr. 2018 Sam Rayburn lost its fifth straight and a reason for that skid is because the Texans became their own worst enemy at the worst possible time. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Brown scores 13 OT points as Trojans down Texans," 19 Jan. 2018 The Dolphins were their own worst enemy Sunday — a persisting symptom of mediocre and bad teams. Greg Cote, miamiherald, "How satisfied are you with Dolphins? Vote in latest postgame poll | Miami Herald," 24 Dec. 2017 The report was to look at financial and worst-case-scenario impacts from a spill in the Straits. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan scraps Straits of Mackinac oil pipeline safety study after conflict discovered," 21 June 2017 The Vikings were their own worst enemy at times, running themselves out of innings in the second and third. Pat Disabato, Daily Southtown, "Reliever Joe Vascik delivers as St. Laurence edges Reavis in sectional," 31 May 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Many survivors of violence and abuse experience extreme fears stemming from past abuse, which can lead to what’s known as catastrophic thinking, defined as obsessively ruminating over worst-case outcomes. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "What You Should Know About Dating a Domestic Abuse Survivor," 26 Oct. 2018 But at worst, this series draws its seediest elements through a decidedly Looney Toons lens. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Disenchantment review: Groening’s new Netflix toon is off to a bloody good start," 7 Aug. 2018 At worst, the administration is undermining its own argument that long-term detention is preferable. Dara Lind, Vox, "The Trump administration reportedly wants to try family separation again," 12 Oct. 2018 At worst, powerful men have lost their absurdly high-paying jobs and watched their social status take a hit. Jill Filipovic, Time, "It’ll Never Be the Right Time for Famous Sexual Predators to Make Their Comebacks," 10 May 2018 Like Golden State’s unexpected play for DeMarcus Cousins, this signing works because Denver’s worst-case scenario is a clean break should Thomas struggle with his health or role. Ben Golliver, SI.com, "Grades: Isaiah Thomas Can Rejuvenate Career in Nuggets' Low-Risk Gamble," 13 July 2018 If natural gas prices stay lower than expected and operational costs increase, retirements could accelerate (in that worst-case scenario, nuclear capacity hits 18.1 GW by 2050). David Roberts, Vox, "Half of America’s carbon-free electricity comes from nuclear. Here’s how to save it.," 10 May 2018 The Nationals beat the Marlins for the 12th consecutive time extending Miami’s worst losing streak against their division foes. Andre C. Fernandez, miamiherald, "Marlins match largest blown lead in club history in demoralizing loss to Nationals," 5 July 2018 Janet's dad, Joe, is known for having a managerial style described as abrasive at best and abusive at worst, according to several Jackson children. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "Janet Jackson thanks ailing father, who tweets 'the sun sets when the time comes'," 24 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Feel free to share your bests and worsts of the fest in the comment section. Michael Rietmulder, The Seattle Times, "The best and worst of Bumbershoot 2018," 3 Sep. 2018 Where does the defeat rank on the list of worst defeats for the all-time great? Chris Chase, For The Win, "Was Roger Federer's Wimbledon collapse the worst of his career? Ranking his five biggest losses.," 11 July 2018 His walk rate and strike percentages are career worsts. Si.com Staff, SI.com, "Nine Innings: Three Players Limiting the Cubs, Vlad Guerrero Jr.'s Eruption and Ohtani's Filthy Splitter," 29 May 2018 His previous-worst was -25 against the Spurs in the 2nd half of Game 3 in the NBA Finals. Scott Patsko, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics: Winners and losers from Game 1," 14 May 2018 While Thomas suffered through career-lows in shooting and career-worsts on defense, Crowder showed to be a poor fit in Cleveland, too. Joe Vardon, cleveland.com, "Koby Altman took control of Cavaliers roster to begin cleanup of mess he, LeBron James, and Tyronn Lue made together," 16 Feb. 2018 His shooting percentages - 39.6 percent overall and 27.7 percent from 3-point range -- are both career-worsts. charlotteobserver, "Hornets fans have been critical of Nic Batum’s play. His response might surprise you," 17 Jan. 2018 The Patriots allowed 537 yards and 42 points—worsts of the Bill Belichick era. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "What’s Wrong With the Patriots Defense? Plenty," 8 Sep. 2017 Released mere weeks before FDR’s inauguration, Roy Del Ruth’s Employees’ Entrance (1933) showcases William at his magnetic worst. Thomas Doherty, Slate Magazine, "When Fascist Heroes Took Over the Movies," 30 Mar. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Those who let the pressure exceed the pleasure, to borrow Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s mantra, end up on a list of Chicago’s worst baseball free-agent signings with Adam Dunn, Milton Bradley and Edwin Jackson. David Haugh, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago will give Yu Darvish the benefit of the doubt when he earns it," 31 May 2018 That made Angelos even wealthier and saddled the Nationals with one of baseball’s worst TV deals, a scenario MLB is unlikely to repeat. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "Inside Sports Business: Portland will need financial clout in order to have a chance at getting big-league baseball," 22 Apr. 2018 Planes and a helping hand from tax cuts accounted for 94% of the Dow Jones Industrial average’s rise Wednesday—breaking the stock market index’s worst losing streak yet in the age of President Donald Trump. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "You Can Thank Boeing and Corporate Tax Cuts for 94% of the Dow’s Rise Today," 31 Jan. 2018 The commute is expected to be worst Tuesday morning between 4 and 10 as drivers contend with heavy rain, isolated thunderstorms, strong wind sand poor visibility, according to the NWS. City News Service, Ramona Sentinel, "Weather service puts region on Winter Storm Watch," 8 Jan. 2018 Seattle’s beleaguered bus stop has advanced from the sweet 16, to the finals by besting (or worsting?) shoddy stops in Fremont, California; San Diego, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. David Gutman, The Seattle Times, "Is this Seattle bus stop the worst in America?," 20 Sep. 2017

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.

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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

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Statistics for worst

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Time Traveler for worst

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

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More Definitions for worst

worst

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of worst

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: worse than all others

: least skillful, talented, or successful

: least appropriate, useful, or helpful

worst

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of worst (Entry 2 of 3)

: in the worst way : in a way that is worse than all others

worst

noun

English Language Learners Definition of worst (Entry 3 of 3)

the worst : the worst person or thing : the worst group of people or things : the worst part of something

: someone's or something's least effective or pleasant condition : someone's or something's worst condition

worst

adjective
\ˈwərst \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on worst

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with worst

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for worst

Spanish Central: Translation of worst

Nglish: Translation of worst for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of worst for Arabic Speakers

Comments on worst

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