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

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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 But the state's overall COVID-19 death and case rates since Jan. 21, 2020, remain among the worst in the country. Brieanna J. Frank, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona's COVID-19 death count nears 17,100 as state reports 819 new cases, 30 deaths," 10 Apr. 2021 Last year was one of the worst of Carli Lloyd’s otherwise-epic soccer career. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, "Carli Lloyd on 2020: Worst of times, best of times as soccer star reunites with family," 9 Apr. 2021 Epicenter of the virus New York’s economic momentum ranking has also consistently been among the worst in the pandemic. Liz Farmer, Forbes, "Hawaii, New York Top List Of Worst-Performing States," 7 Apr. 2021 One of the worst was on Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess, which left 14 dead. Richard Tribou, orlandosentinel.com, "Carnival Cruise Line cancels June sailings, holds off vaccine stance," 6 Apr. 2021 The persistent achievement gap, one of the worst in the country, remains amid more questions about the long-term impact on struggling students who were forced to take classes online the past year. Scott Bauer, Star Tribune, "Democratic-backed Underly elected Wisconsin schools chief," 6 Apr. 2021 The deaths of nearly 200 people are linked to February’s cold snap and blackouts, a new analysis reveals, making the natural disaster one of the worst in Texas this past century. San Antonio Express-News, "Express Briefing: One year later, what we learned from COVID-19," 5 Apr. 2021 The recent surge has pushed Michigan’s rate of new cases per 100,000 residents to the status of worst in the nation. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Michigan cases surge, ballgame postponed, vaccination news, singer dies, more - coronavirus timeline March 27-April 2," 3 Apr. 2021 The other is a senior who accepted the call to build one of the worst into one of this season’s best. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "UConn-Arizona live stream (4/2): How to watch NCAA women’s Final Four online, TV, time," 2 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Extreme weather events are already rising with small-island nations and developing countries worst-hit. Disha Shetty, Forbes, "Marine Species Flee Equator As Oceans Warm," 6 Apr. 2021 In fact, across the board, the gap between the best- and worst-performing models was always smaller than the gap between the best models and the reality. Hannah Fry, The New Yorker, "What Data Can’t Do," 22 Mar. 2021 Shares of financial companies were among the worst-performing sectors in the S&P 500, losing 1.2%. Julia-ambra Verlaine, WSJ, "Treasury Yields Remain Volatile After Fed Kills Capital Relief," 19 Mar. 2021 Maurice Calloo scored 13 points to lead Oregon State (20-13), which was vying to become the worst-seeded team ever to make a Final Four. Kristen Davis, cleveland, "Where to buy Houston Final Four 2021 basketball shirts, hats, more," 30 Mar. 2021 Maurice Calloo scored 13 points to lead Oregon State (20-13), which was vying to become the worst-seeded team ever to make a Final Four — and to extend a remarkable postseason run for a team that was picked to finish last in the Pac-12. Aaron Beard, Chron, "Houston tops Oregon State, reaches 1st Final Four since '84," 29 Mar. 2021 Maurice Calloo scored 13 points to lead Oregon State (20-13), which was vying to become the worst-seeded team ever to make a Final Four — not to mention extend a remarkable postseason run for a team that was picked to finish last in the Pac-12. BostonGlobe.com, "Houston men stave off Oregon State to earn Final Four berth," 29 Mar. 2021 According to data from this new report, Mexico's death toll would be higher than Brazil's and would place the country as second worst-hit in the world, following the US. Karol Suarez, CNN, "Mexico's Covid-19 death toll may be 60% higher than officially reported," 28 Mar. 2021 The Ravens finished with the NFL’s top running game and worst passing offense. Mike Preston, baltimoresun.com, "Mike Preston: Ravens add Watkins, fight reality in pursuit of free agent receivers | COMMENTARY," 27 Mar. 2021 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, "Andy Warhola’s Religion," 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, "Not yet done 2019 in review: Britain’s turbulent times," 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, "Hyde5 Mailbag: Is front office on board with Dolphins winning?," 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, "5 takeaways from UAB’s loss to Southern Miss," 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, "One bad season such as the Red Sox just wrapped up will amount to only a smudge on the team’s long-term financial picture.," 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, "We’re All Overlooking the Easiest Group Trip Ever: The Cruise," 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, "49ers vs. Bengals Live Stream: How to Watch Online, TV Channel, Time," 15 Sep. 2019 Another strange, strange window, and perhaps my choices for best and worst might be controversial. SI.com, "Ranking Every Chelsea Summer Transfer Window Since 2002," 10 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, "Turkish Economy Hits Grim Milestones That Show Pandemic Toll," 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, "Shaw looking to help Blackhawks return to playoffs," 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, "Monday Sunrise Briefing: Europe’s lockdown flattens the curve," 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, "Unafraid to call out Trump, Hogan emerges as lead GOP voice for urgent action on pandemic," 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, "Europe’s lockdown gets tighter as Spain’s death toll mounts," 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, "Kentucky basketball is rising, but John Calipari needs one more fix to feel comfortable," 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, "Texas A&M’s hot start fizzles, Aggies suffer one of their most lopsided losses of the season to South Carolina," 8 Feb. 2020 Our best and worst Christmas memories from our childhoods inevitably haunt us. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "The Profound Loneliness of Christmas," 20 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for worst

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for worst

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Worst.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worst. Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

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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 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 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on worst

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for worst

Nglish: Translation of worst for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of worst for Arabic Speakers

Comments on worst

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