: involving, projecting, or providing for the worst possible circumstances or outcome of a given situation
a worst-case scenario

Examples of worst-case in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Borrego, who also lectures at the University of Houston, references a few worst-case scenarios, like in 2020 when Denbury Resources suffered a catastrophic leak on a 24-inch pipeline carrying CO2 in Mississippi. Christopher Helman, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 Given the popularity of social media and the prevalence of smartphones in teenagers’ lives, how can adults protect them from every worst-case scenario lurking in direct messages and algorithmic feeds? Heather Kelly, Washington Post, 7 Feb. 2024 Orion only had to be a decent enough take on a boy overcoming his status as a first-rate scaredy cat and realizing that the world isn’t all worst-case scenarios. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 2 Feb. 2024 Even pastors most critical of Mr. Biden on the war in Gaza agreed that a Trump re-election would be a worst-case scenario for their largely Black and working-class congregations. Maya King, New York Times, 28 Jan. 2024 But dealing a large combination of those assets for only marginal improvement might be a worst-case scenario. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 21 Jan. 2024 In one modeling study published in 2021, researchers calculated that, in a worst-case scenario, chances of infection could rise as high as 90% during just a few minutes of conversation with a sick, unmasked person. TIME, 17 Jan. 2024 In a worst-case scenario where Iran gets involved and the global market loses 3 million barrels of oil per day produced there, oil prices could rise as high as $115 per barrel, Hatfield warned. Will Daniel, Fortune, 13 Jan. 2024 In a worst-case scenario, a hacker could take control of a CAV with passengers onboard. IEEE Spectrum, 4 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'worst-case.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1964, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of worst-case was in 1964

Dictionary Entries Near worst-case

Cite this Entry

“Worst-case.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worst-case. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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