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 inwanted 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 However, perfectly understandably, most people spend very little time thinking about failure, disaster and worst-case scenarios. John Hudson, Wired, "If You Are Going to Survive, You Must Prepare to Fail," 11 Jan. 2021 The worst case isn’t the stops and starts of a season, or even a cancellation. Dylan Bumbarger, oregonlive, "Winterhawks: where we sit at the start of the new year," 5 Jan. 2021 But there’s also the worst-case scenario to consider. Washington Post, "The biggest questions facing the gaming world in 2021," 30 Dec. 2020 But so far, death rates haven’t met those worst-case scenario predictions. Aryn Baker, Time, "Why Africa's COVID-19 Outbreak Hasn't Been as Bad as Everyone Feared," 30 Dec. 2020 The worst case scenario would be for Ant to forgo its money management, credit and insurance businesses, halting its operations in the units that service half a billion people. Bloomberg.com, "Ant Turning From Windfall to Nightmare for Global Investors," 27 Dec. 2020 The number predicted to require hospitalization ranged from 2,663 in the moderate scenario to 4,622 in the worst-case scenario. Andy Davis, Arkansas Online, "1-day case rise an all-time high in state at 3,204," 25 Dec. 2020 In the worst case, one or both of Georgia’s Senate seats remain in the hands of the GOP, allowing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to maintain his comfortable routine of tossing incoming bills into the shredder. Felipe De La Hoz, The New Republic, "Joe Biden Doesn’t Need the GOP’s Permission to Fix Our Broken Immigration System," 25 Dec. 2020 In the worst-case scenarios for borrowers who couldn't repay, bankruptcy would still be an option. Joe Nocera And Bloomberg Opinion, Star Tribune, "Bankruptcy is the solution to the student loan crisis," 25 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb China’s true catch-up potential, though, is in long-haul routes, and thus the wide-body jets worst-hit by Covid-19. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "After Covid, Plane Makers Are Even More Dependent on China," 31 Dec. 2020 British businesses, among the world’s worst hit by the coronavirus, were downbeat. The Christian Science Monitor, "‘Parting is such sweet sorrow’: EU and UK clinch narrow Brexit accord," 24 Dec. 2020 Several other countries were targeted but the U.S. was hit worst. Amy Kellogg, Fox News, "If Russia's behind hacking scheme, what is its ultimate goal?," 19 Dec. 2020 On the other hand, these are the people worst hit by the pandemic. John Bonifield, CNN, "Why vaccinate our most frail? Odd vote out shows the dilemma," 4 Dec. 2020 The seventh best state for inclusion, Alaska is the 10th worst in security. Rosemary Wardley, National Geographic, "These are the best and worst states for women," 8 Oct. 2020 In some of the places hit worst in the earlier surges, November and December mark the virus’s first resurgence. Whet Moser, The Atlantic, "The Terrible Déjà Vu of COVID-19’s Winter Surge," 17 Dec. 2020 Politicians from the states worst-hit by Boko Haram have voiced their displeasure, and there is heavy pressure from civil organizations to abandon the bill and divert funds to survivors. The Christian Science Monitor, "Ex-Boko Haram fighters deradicalized, but still unreconciled," 8 Dec. 2020 Hospitality, retail and leisure have been worst affected by lockdowns, sectors in which many informal jobs are held by young, low-income or migrant workers. Emma Reynolds, CNN, "Europe's social safety net is often considered the gold standard. Coronavirus has exposed its holes," 6 Dec. 2020 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

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Worst.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worst. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for worst

worst

adjective
How to pronounce worst (audio)

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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Comments on worst

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