Definition of bad in English:

bad

adjective

  • 1Of poor quality or a low standard:

    ‘a bad diet’
    ‘bad eyesight’
    • ‘The dialogue is even more aimless, the image quality is bad, and the acting is not up to par.’
    • ‘Although ground water here is abundant, it is of such bad quality that it is considered a health risk.’
    • ‘The problem now is that the generators in many areas are starting to break down due to constant use and the bad quality of the fuel.’
    • ‘It also criticised the windows' poor design as a bad example to other developers.’
    • ‘He will also witness bad pass after poor tackle and some woeful marking.’
    • ‘International standards identify bad loans as those without servicing for three months.’
    • ‘More big fish are lost through bad knots or poor quality crimping than for any other reason.’
    • ‘Who wants stuff of doubtful or bad quality, even if it's given for half the price?’
    • ‘All share some of the ailments of old age, including poor memories, fading eyesight and bad hearing.’
    • ‘The film's incredibly bad storyline was only surpassed by the poor acting.’
    • ‘In many ways there are so many bad films, and the blame actually goes to the audience because that's what they want.’
    • ‘There were a lot of bad websites at one point where the loading was bad, quality of images were poor and the interface was clumsy.’
    • ‘The poor living conditions, bad diet, lack of exercise and now being alone have all taken their toll.’
    • ‘The sound quality was so bad that it had to be lowered as the Dolby sorround was not working properly’
    • ‘This leads me to the question who is responsible for such bad quality design and materials and who pays for it?’
    • ‘Poor decision making, bad handling and lack of enterprise ensured their efforts came to nothing.’
    • ‘Because of the bad quality of the bank video, it is not clear exactly what happened.’
    • ‘Poor or bad management covers a multitude of sins that could include all of the above and more.’
    • ‘The old building was criticised for poor condition, bad layout and having too few interview rooms.’
    • ‘Complain about their bad grammar or poor choice of headlines or biased editorials.’
    substandard, poor, inferior, second-rate, second-class, unsatisfactory, inadequate, unacceptable, not up to scratch, not up to par, deficient, imperfect, defective, faulty, shoddy, amateurish, careless, negligent
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    1. 1.1 (of a person) not able to do a particular thing well:
      ‘I'm so bad at names’
      ‘a bad listener’
      • ‘Why are women so good at working collaboratively and men so bad at it?’
      • ‘I'm also really very bad at choosing music to play for other people.’
      • ‘They happen to be really bad at managing their bugs, and not providing fixes on time, but that's another issue.’
      • ‘There will also be a session on how to start a sex magazine and another on why the British are so bad at pornography.’
      • ‘So, being bad at golf actually burns up more calories than being good at it.’
      • ‘It goes to show that you can be good at oratory but bad at leading.’
      • ‘Well, being very bad at accepting any kind of compliment, I will just shuffle my feet a bit here.’
      • ‘Yes, I do think that sometimes philosophers are very bad at it, because they don't think about it.’
      • ‘I'm actually really bad at condensing peoples names to just one or two characters.’
      • ‘My criticism is that most publishers are very bad at making a profit.’
      • ‘Fathers are seen as particularly bad at communicating with their children and getting involved with their lives.’
      • ‘How does being good or bad at sport when you're a child affect you as an adult?’
      • ‘The two were both horribly bad at the game, but had had fun laughing and poking fun at each other about it.’
      • ‘Now, having said all that, it still has to be said that Dawn is pretty bad at fantasy football.’
      • ‘I have shaky hands and weak wrists, and am very bad at carrying drinks and plates.’
      • ‘I wondered when I'd become so bad at articulating any kind of helpful advice.’
      • ‘The logic goes that the people will vote out someone who is bad at the job.’
      • ‘It all seems so cruel that I should be so bad at parenting yet have such an easy time conceiving.’
      • ‘I'm not sure why humans are so bad at planning for the future, especially for those things we can predict.’
      • ‘Instead they are labelled as bad at maths or stupid when, in fact, what they have is really no more than number blindness.’
    2. 1.2 Not appropriate in a particular situation:
      ‘morning was a bad time to ask Andy about anything’
      • ‘Consumers mistakenly believe it's a bad time to get good mortgage.’
      • ‘There's a good time and a bad time to ask your boss for more money.’
      • ‘Is now a bad time to ask how much you are spending on prenatal and pregnancy-related health care?’
      inauspicious, disadvantageous, adverse, difficult, inopportune, unpropitious, inappropriate, unsuitable, unfavourable, unfortunate, untoward
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  • 2Not such as to be hoped for or desired; unpleasant or unwelcome:

    ‘bad news’
    ‘it was the worst day of his life’
    ‘bad luck’
    • ‘I was determined to ride out the bad times in hope that the good times were still to come.’
    • ‘Even the TV had the grace to allow a bad weather news day to take precedence.’
    • ‘Pacifism is absolutely not about shutting your eyes and hoping all the bad things will go away.’
    • ‘The forecast for the rest of the week looks pretty grim and the bad weather looks like staying with us.’
    • ‘But the news from Ireland was bad: trustworthy tenants were thin on the ground.’
    • ‘He tells her that he almost hopes something bad would happen to her so that he could save her at any cost.’
    • ‘I don't want to do anything today and if the weather's bad, I'll say what an awful day.’
    • ‘And my father was not to accept excuses about the strokes of bad luck or the bad weather.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, we had a lot of bad weather recently and an extraordinary amount of games were called off.’
    • ‘I went out to the deck, hoping even with the bad weather that I could train a bit.’
    • ‘I still wake up and look over the bed and hope it's a bad dream and he'll be lying there next to me.’
    • ‘Over the last two years, the news has been uniformly bad, with every club in the SPL forced to downturn its finances.’
    • ‘Local fishermen are counting the cost of bad weather but, hopefully, can return to work early this week.’
    • ‘Sitting in his Hong Kong office, he reports that there is good news and bad.’
    • ‘Quake victims grab what they can in aid, while bad weather slows down the relief.’
    • ‘The good news (or bad, depending on how you look at it) is that I'm not the only one who feels this way.’
    • ‘A local farmer praised milk tanker drivers for their perseverance during the awful spate of bad weather.’
    • ‘I was hoping it was a bad dream or at best a hallucination from a midnight toilet break.’
    • ‘In the days before the wireless, he was trained to bear news of imminent bad weather from island to island.’
    • ‘I feel I'm on a roller-coaster at the moment - first good news then bad as things go right and then oh so wrong.’
    unpleasant, disagreeable, unwelcome, unfortunate, unfavourable, unlucky, adverse, nasty
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    1. 2.1 (of something causing pain, danger, or other unwelcome consequences) severe or serious:
      ‘bad headaches’
      ‘a bad crash’
      ‘a bad mistake’
      • ‘Light pollution is so bad that many people in this country can no longer see the stars, research showed yesterday.’
      • ‘At 12.47 a call is received from a patient recently discharged from hospital after a hip operation and now in very bad pain.’
      • ‘The dumbest thing is that the pain isn't bad enough to make me feel like I should stay home.’
      • ‘The former factory worker has now given up work because the pain is so bad that sometimes she cannot walk.’
      • ‘Anyone who has ever suffered a bad toothache or a broken tooth, will know that emergency treatment is a must.’
      • ‘The first seemed more likely, and all the muscles in my body tensed for a bad blow.’
      • ‘The wagon overturned and Clyde took a bad spill, injuring one of his legs.’
      • ‘The pain was so bad that you told me that you were going to go to the hospital.’
      • ‘Imagine having air forced into your lungs when you have a bad chest infection?’
      • ‘It wasn't a bad wound, just painful, and he would need to rest for several more days.’
      • ‘Migraines can cause very bad pain that can get in the way of your normal routine.’
      • ‘He visited his doctor who sent him home and when he phoned later that afternoon his chest pains were still bad so an ambulance was called.’
      • ‘The best way to describe the pain in my hands and feet is during the morning, it is like a bad toothache.’
      • ‘You know I think there are really bad problems with pollution in Johannesburg.’
      • ‘I had chests pains, a very bad headache and my eyes were sore and bloodshot.’
      • ‘The water was a bit soapy and although she never got pregnant, she had some really bad aches and pains for weeks after that.’
      • ‘My vision is affected and the pain is so bad that I can't do anything until it goes away.’
      • ‘Beijing was bidding to bring the world's finest athletes to a city with very bad air pollution.’
      • ‘As for pollution, when you sit in traffic in Lancaster with all the heavy goods vehicles the pollution is very bad.’
      • ‘I still have a bad cough as my body rids itself of sickness, but my head feels good.’
      severe, serious, grave, critical, grievous, acute, dreadful, terrible, awful, ghastly, dire, grim, frightful, shocking
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    2. 2.2 Unfavourable; adverse:
      ‘bad reviews’
      • ‘It has been a sorry period for Swindon's schools, and the reasons behind the town's bad marks are difficult to boil down.’
      • ‘I've only seen one bad review and that was from some mug that clearly hadn't even played it.’
      • ‘If they didn't spin, they'd suffer bad press and PR disasters by the day.’
      • ‘What if I hate it and have to write a bad review about their friend's band?’
      • ‘What about the kids who because of zoning have to go to a school that has a bad Education Review Office report?’
      • ‘Even bad reviews and previews usually have a nice sentence or two about the game.’
      • ‘The worst thing is when your mother calls you on the phone to read you your bad reviews out loud.’
      • ‘You have a tendency to believe the reviews that are good and trash the reviews that are bad.’
      • ‘He had the disgruntled air of a writer whinging over a bad review.’
      • ‘I've come across a lot of bad reviews and people who didn't like it though, and I'm kind of lost as to why.’
      • ‘Normally, if you see a bad review on a Christmas movie its on some real syrupy, schmaltzy one.’
      • ‘Seen from that point of view, it is evident that even a bad review is better than none at all.’
      • ‘There are some really bad reviews of it, but I would kind of like to take a look at it nonetheless.’
      • ‘A good or bad review by a fashion writer or food critic for example can make or break a designer or restaurant.’
      • ‘I used to think this was a form of compensation, a kind of insurance policy for a bad grade or a poor paper.’
      • ‘It's not simply a bad review from the point of view of its subject - it's a bad review from every angle.’
      • ‘He was sick, the production had all sorts of problems and the result was his first really bad reviews.’
      • ‘We find it hilarious whenever we get bad reviews because it has absolute zero effect on our sales.’
      • ‘And that, my friends, just when I thought it would never end, is the last of the ten bad movie reviews.’
      • ‘A musician once said to me if you don't get any bad reviews you're not doing your job.’
    3. 2.3bad for Having a harmful effect on:
      ‘soap was bad for his face’
      • ‘If I did not know better, I would have to say that running is bad for you, with both of us seriously ill.’
      • ‘In plain English, smoking looks bad, smells bad, and is just downright bad for you.’
      • ‘Christmas shopping could be bad for your health, a top physiotherapist has warned.’
      • ‘That said, stories like this are bad for the sport, and that affects all of us.’
      • ‘Some flower beds and tubs have been planted up but the weather has been to bad for painting.’
      • ‘It was bad for Sri Lanka, but not catastrophic if they can win at least one more game.’
      • ‘It is essentially a conceptual war, confusing for pundits and bad for television.’
      • ‘So let's not get fooled by our astrologer pals who claim one number or another is bad for us.’
      • ‘The doctors do not say that all exercise is bad for you: they even recommend a little walking.’
      • ‘I know it's bad for me, that I should be doing stuff, any stuff just so long as I keep active.’
      • ‘It's about a very contemporary cultural superstition that love is actually bad for you.’
      • ‘But the fact that being a man is bad for you may also have much to do with men's attitude to health.’
      • ‘We are all told that to eat a healthy diet we need to cut down on sweets and sweet foods, however not all sweets are bad for you.’
      • ‘If that does not happen, it will be bad for him, worse still for Britain, and even worse for the world.’
      • ‘Marriage as it stands is good for children, good for husbands and bad for wives.’
      • ‘Is spending too much time online really bad for you because you miss out on personal interaction?’
      • ‘To be fair, not all of the legislation brought in by the Scottish Parliament is bad for business.’
      • ‘But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and like a thing which is bad for you.’
      • ‘Whether it is good for you or not, I would contend that all food can be good for you or it can be bad for you.’
      • ‘I doubt anything much can be done to stop the recession and this will be bad for IT spending.’
      harmful, damaging, detrimental, undesirable, injurious, hurtful, inimical, dangerous, destructive, ruinous, deleterious
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  • 3Failing to conform to standards of moral virtue or acceptable conduct:

    ‘the bad guys’
    ‘bad behaviour’
    • ‘However, the hawks would say that's just giving in to blackmail, rewarding bad behaviour.’
    • ‘Not all young people are bad, but there seems to be a growing number of them with a lack of respect for anything or anyone.’
    • ‘Now they are calling for a public meeting with police to try and tackle the issues of bad behaviour before the project gets into full swing.’
    • ‘Teachers also noticed a reduction in criminal and bad behaviour.’
    • ‘Despite its official backing the book pulls no punches and includes tales of the singer's bullying and bad behaviour.’
    • ‘Young footballers who copy the bad behaviour of their professional heroes are receiving adult-size bans.’
    • ‘With the bad attitude comes the bad behaviour the tabloids love.’
    • ‘Rather than letting prisoners out early for good behaviour, it might be more sensible to keep them in longer for bad behaviour.’
    • ‘Teachers in Hull will be quizzed about their pupils' bad behaviour in a survey into classroom violence.’
    • ‘We turn our backs on the fact that bad behavior sells seats and bad behavior begets more of the same.’
    • ‘What happens when one's bad behaviour is considered as usual and is no longer condemned or even commented on?’
    • ‘She wins her over with headstrong antics, while she goes about being a bad little rich girl.’
    • ‘This New York circus duo have been a hit off-Broadway with their brand of vaudeville, kitsch and bad behaviour.’
    • ‘Three prison officers gave evidence yesterday about the penalties for reporting bad behaviour by colleagues.’
    • ‘The general level of ignorance on what is good or bad behaviour is compounded by the idealisation of childhood.’
    • ‘But bad behaviour is on the increase since the town council replaced the benches last month, they said.’
    • ‘Here she tells her about her real self and why she likes being bad on screen’
    • ‘Ben informs us that his good grades are like a licence for bad behaviour.’
    • ‘It shouldn't be just up to the police to deal with bad behaviour.’
    • ‘What enrages you now is not last night's bad behaviour but a lifetime of bad behaviour and the marriage is over.’
    wicked, sinful, immoral, evil, morally wrong, corrupt, base, black-hearted, reprobate, depraved, degenerate, dissolute, amoral
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    1. 3.1 (of language) using words generally considered offensive; vulgar.
      • ‘That's right, not only do they have a new CD out, they actually say bad words on this album.’
      • ‘He stood and thought how he could get it down; he tried long plastic piping, ladders and bad words.’
      • ‘The aunt snapped back at her ‘no’, that Aids was a bad word and that she was not to mention it again.’
      • ‘Well there were bad words said, of that there is no doubt but I think the happy couple is back on speaking terms.’
      • ‘I believed that if I got a cold sore or bit my tongue, it was a punishment for lying or saying a bad word.’
      • ‘Speak very bad words to him in the 90 minutes and, after that, say you're sorry.’
      • ‘Some youngsters even ask adults for cigarettes on the streets and spit out bad words at them if rejected.’
      • ‘You should have seen the tantrum I threw, banging the floor with my fist and saying bad words.’
      • ‘He went to Trinidad to do a show and when he was performing, let loose a stream of bad words.’
      • ‘They were swearing at me as I laid on the floor, with very bad words.’
      • ‘She has even invented a mechanical parrot that speaks bad French.’
      • ‘People these days are so caught up in work that leisure is a bad word in their vocabulary.’
      offensive, vulgar, crude, foul, obscene, rude, coarse, smutty, dirty, filthy, indecent, indecorous
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  • 4(of a part of the body) injured, diseased, or painful:

    ‘a bad back’
    • ‘Last night my parents told me to consider not dancing anymore because my bad knee has kept me out more or less for the last few months.’
    • ‘Her son joined another queue to have his bad back checked and would be there for hours, so we took her to our hotel to rest.’
    • ‘I was a little tipsy from the beers I had been drinking and the two vicodin I had eaten for my bad back.’
    • ‘After struggling to get it over my bad arm I succeeded and headed downstairs.’
    • ‘I attempted to sit up on my bad arm but quickly realized that wasn't possible.’
    • ‘It was hot still, perhaps even hotter, and some daft woman crashed into my bad leg with her trolley, so my even temper was becoming strained.’
    • ‘After all, our national inheritance also includes heart disease, damp and bad teeth.’
    • ‘I took a wobbly step on my bad ankle, and instantly, unbearable pain shot up my leg, causing me to fall to my knees.’
    • ‘My father ignored her and he grabbed me by my bad arm and pulled me towards my mother, who was still lying on the floor.’
    • ‘Carefully I slip out from under the covers and I gingerly try putting weight on my bad leg.’
    • ‘I pressed the pedal of Josh's bed with my bad foot and it slowly began to rise.’
    • ‘I was taking Baja out for a bathroom run when he yanked me and I slipped on an ice patch, twisting my bad knee.’
    • ‘I used my good leg to pull myself up and my bad leg to steady myself on.’
    • ‘My chair is SO uncomfortable, and doesn't support my bad back at all.’
    • ‘Being a very active person who resented my bad back and all the restrictions, I was not pleased to be encouraged to lie flat each afternoon.’
    • ‘She grabbed my bad arm and my shoulder then popped in back into its socket.’
    • ‘He hit me in my bad shoulder, the one that got shot, so I hit the ground, and pretended it hurt horribly.’
    injured, wounded, diseased
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    1. 4.1[as complement] (of a person) unwell:
      ‘I tried medication but felt even worse the next morning’
      • ‘I get home, still feeling pretty bad, take a look at my helmet and discover that the crash cracked it in 3 places.’
      • ‘Even if you don't feel that bad, meningitis is a quick moving disease so it's better to be safe than sorry.’
      • ‘Those days I just wanna kick the dirt or maybe just sit there and think about how bad I feel.’
      • ‘Tell her how bad your acne makes you feel and ask if she'll set up a dermatologist's visit for you.’
      • ‘I had started feeling pretty ill by this point, and Scott had been feeling pretty bad since after the hike.’
      • ‘I waited only an hour in the emergency room, and by now, I was feeling pretty bad.’
      • ‘Pain is your body's way of telling you to stop, and ignoring it will not only make you feel bad but probably injure you into the bargain.’
      • ‘Would allergic kids let us know if they felt bad or accidentally contacted something?’
  • 5(of food) decayed; putrid:

    ‘everything in the fridge went bad’
    • ‘The next morning, things got worse as half of our food went bad.’
    • ‘The stray dogs may be hungrier, but I don't think they ever ate that bad rice.’
    • ‘Many feared that if the food went bad and somebody became ill that they would be liable and could be sued.’
    • ‘Second, if fruit went bad during shipment, the wrappers offered some way of containing the spoilage.’
    • ‘You can't get much sleep; and the kids are throwing up because the food is bad.’
    rotten, off, decayed, decomposed, decomposing, putrid, putrefied, putrescent, mouldy, mouldering
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    1. 5.1 (of the atmosphere) polluted; unhealthy:
      ‘bad air’
      • ‘The air was still pretty bad, but the tunnel was larger and much less foreboding.’
      • ‘Soon a fan the size of a card table is pulling the bad air out the street door.’
      • ‘There must be a magic line down the middle of the street that divides the good air from the bad air.’
      • ‘Yet he was right behind Siri and was getting bad air from her sail, so he tacked out on port to get clear air.’
      • ‘Now, the fire is still going on and the air is still bad, so I had a serious breathing problem.’
      • ‘If you've been watering your plant with bad water for several months, and the plant is clearly declining, things are bad.’
      • ‘Does the arachnid feel a difference in the air between a bad ozone day and a good one?’
      • ‘This time I went quickly through surfacing into a spacious airbell, alert for signs of bad air.’
      • ‘This, in conjunction with bad water, leads to the wildfire spread of many infectious diseases and greatly increases diarrhea among children.’
      • ‘If economic growth continues, there are bound to be more cars spewing bad air.’
      • ‘Unless you live in an area with bad water (like... a swamp or toxic waste dump) I can't imagine using anything but tap water.’
  • 6[as complement] Regretful, guilty, or ashamed about something:

    ‘she feels bad about ending their engagement’
    ‘I feel bad that our business is benefiting from something so horrible’
    • ‘I felt so bad, so ashamed of the person I am today, so worthless, so empty, so useless.’
    • ‘I don't feel bad about it for myself, but I feel bad for the effect it had on Rafael.’
    • ‘What happened afterwards was a terrible blow, and I felt bad for all the other players.’
    • ‘Rannie came by to check on me, but I was feeling so bad I hardly said anything to him.’
    • ‘Luckily I hated the thing so I don't feel too bad about getting a new one.’
    • ‘It made me feel real bad for him, and for the way I and others were feeling towards him.’
    • ‘Did he feel bad sending our boys into battle without adequate body armour?’
    • ‘She had been a bitch to Michelle and she felt bad about it after Hope had put it in the light.’
    • ‘Of the rest of us, only one was wearing a suit, though, so I didn't feel too bad.’
    • ‘I feel so bad for those who have missing family members because I was in their shoes just a sort time ago.’
    • ‘I feel slightly bad, but hope you guessed correctly which option I would go for.’
    • ‘He says dentists feel bad about the situation but he insists their hands are tied.’
    • ‘It seems the front door was actually unlocked, so the girls felt bad about me falling for naught.’
    guilty, conscience-stricken, remorseful, guilt-ridden, ashamed, chastened, contrite, sorry, full of regret, regretful, repentant, penitent, shamefaced, self-reproachful, apologetic
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  • 7Worthless; not valid:

    ‘he ran up 87 bad cheques’
    • ‘The geeks will not inherit the earth: They spend too much time watching movies and checking for bad physics.’
    • ‘He had already suffered the loss when he received the bad cheque from her.’
    • ‘Passing a bad check is a felony.’
    • ‘He financed his activities by cashing millions of dollars in bad checks.’
    • ‘He suffered money problems and was arrested for passing a bad cheque and other financial charges.’
    • ‘One of my earlier cases was investigating a bad cheque that had been passed at a local merchant.’
    • ‘However bad or good these checks are depends on the publication, but they are there.’
    • ‘He relies on the telephone and on an eye trained by expensive experience to ferret out bad checks.’
    • ‘They said my Child was clean but because there were bad checks written there was going to be a trial.’
    • ‘After a couple of traffic offense cases and a few bad check writers were dealt with, he married us.’
    • ‘They may steal, write bad checks or commit illegal activities to finance their habit.’
    • ‘The bank has been dogged by bad real estate loans since it was formed by the merger of two Munich-based banks in 1998.’
    invalid, worthless
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  • 8North American "( badder , baddest ) "informal Good; excellent:

    ‘they want the baddest, best-looking Corvette there is’
    • ‘‘It was the baddest car I'd ever seen and I promised myself right then that one day I'd have one just like it.’’
    • ‘He was amusing, and he made me feel as if I was the baddest one in the place.’
    • ‘She knew she was badder than these wannabe hoodlums.’
    excellent, wonderful, marvellous, magnificent, superb, splendid, glorious, sublime, lovely, delightful, first-class, first-rate, outstanding
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adverb

North American
informal
  • Badly:

    ‘he beat her up real bad’
    • ‘I fancy her real bad!’
    • ‘I tell you, if we start to win again, I want to beat them real bad this time.’
    • ‘I must have hurt her real bad without realising it.’
    • ‘I have a problem using your templates, and I want them real bad.’
    • ‘It would be disrespectful of me to talk bad of her on a forum that everybody can read.’
    • ‘No matter how bad I threw the ball, it was still going to knock down at least one pin.’
    • ‘Papa wanted to strap on one of those gliders and run off that hill so bad he could taste it.’

Phrases

  • a bad penny always turns up

    • Someone or something unwelcome will always reappear or return:

      ‘‘She's always turning up.’ Like a bad penny, Clare thought viciously’
      • ‘Of course, it has been said that a bad penny always turns up again.’
      • ‘Now, now, a bad penny always turns up somewhere.’
      • ‘"A bad penny always turns up," said my grandmother the day I was born.’
  • a bad workman always blames his tools

    • proverb A person who has done something badly will seek to lay the blame on their equipment rather than admit their own lack of skill.

      • ‘My grandfather always taught me that a bad workman always blames his tools and the poor old Holstein cow is getting bad press because the type of Holstein a breeder may have ` built’ may not suit their management system or style.’
      • ‘To those who tell you abruptly, in passionate discussions between amateurs, that ‘you should never use a focal length shorter than a 28 mm, otherwise you'd get too much deformation’ we want to answer: c'mon guys, a bad workman always blames his tools, just look at the results obtained by Roger Hicks in Interior Shots with his 14 mm!’
      • ‘Just because a bad workman always blames his tools doesn't mean blaming one's tools is a sign of being a bad workman.’
      • ‘I just cringe at the very sight of cheap painting tools mainly because the old saying that a bad workman always blames his tools is wrong!’
  • come to a bad end

  • from bad to worse

    • Into an even worse state:

      ‘the country's going from bad to worse’
      • ‘Back in the party things were going from bad to worse.’
      • ‘Therefore it will reduce the already insufficient number of road lanes, and hence the situation will go from bad to worse.’
      • ‘The endowment mortgage crisis just goes from bad to worse.’
      • ‘Sensing the situation moving from bad to worse, the reporter sought help from a Boston police officer on duty nearby.’
      • ‘This has only turned things from bad to worse because the buses have to now ply on a narrow road before reaching the road connecting Town Hall.’
      • ‘He was switched to left back - his natural position - at the beginning of the current season and things have gone from bad to worse.’
      • ‘She was talking about when things went from bad to worse, and how to document that moment.’
      • ‘The week has gone from bad to worse for the Wexford County Board.’
      • ‘This is one of those days, however, that just keeps going from bad to worse, as Brandon and his passengers are soon to discover.’
      • ‘But with the eradication of that status, the financial position of the State had gone from bad to worse.’
  • in a bad way

    • Ill or in trouble.

      • ‘I couldn't see her face when they pulled her out, but she looked in a bad way.’
      • ‘He was in a bad way so I took him home to nurse him and planned to bring him back when he was independent at three months old.’
      • ‘He looked in a bad way and I think they took him off at Singapore.’
      • ‘They kept stopping for breaks and water and the girl was in a bad way.’
      • ‘A nearby householder, who did not want to be named, said: ‘He's in a bad way and is going to need plastic surgery.’’
      • ‘His teeth were too long, his hooves in a bad way and he had septicaemia, a disease caused by toxic micro-organisms in the blood.’
      • ‘He has been standing up on his own, which is a good sign, and he is eating, but his nostrils and throat are still in a bad way.’
      • ‘She looked in a bad way, but there was very little anybody could do.’
      • ‘His arms were in a bad way - there were no bandages on him at that stage.’
      • ‘He was in a bad way, so very weak, only the occasional half-hearted flap of his wings.’
      unwell, sick, not well, not very well, ailing, poorly, sickly, peaky, afflicted, indisposed, infirm, liverish
      View synonyms
  • my bad

    • informal Used to acknowledge responsibility for a mistake:

      ‘Sorry I lost your CD. It's my bad’
      • ‘I hate when people say ‘my bad’ it's so annoying, just say ‘sorry’ for god's sake.’
      • ‘Sorry, it's my bad and my poor English.’
      • ‘I'm sorry, it's my bad.’
      • ‘Just kidding; it didn't take long at all - sorry for the linguistic impasse, my bad.’
      • ‘I didn't flip the shirt over to see that there is in fact an Ivory-billed Woodpecker on the back, my bad.’
  • be no bad thing

    • Used to express approval in an understated or qualified way:

      ‘a little uncertainty is no bad thing’
      ‘you can hear traces of The Stones and Dylan coming through, which is no bad thing’
      • ‘If this poll sets some alarm bells ringing at the top that might be no bad thing.’
      • ‘In a way it's sad to think I've been to my last performance but then it lost a lot of character so maybe it's no bad thing.’
      • ‘That journalists should be sceptical about large firms is no bad thing.’
      • ‘Martial law was no bad thing in the circumstances.’
      • ‘This movie harks back to a simpler time for cinema, and in today's world of bloated blockbusters, that's no bad thing.’
      • ‘Artistic competition is no bad thing.’
      • ‘He said however that it was no bad thing that it was raining.’
      • ‘A self-sufficient childhood is no bad thing.’
      • ‘The first time on hearing them I was less than impressed, but some of the band's best songs are growers so that's no bad thing.’
      • ‘This has to be seen in the context of a tour where the company is performing five Handel operas, and one near miss out of five is no bad thing.’
  • not (or not so) bad

    • informal Fairly good:

      ‘she discovered he wasn't so bad after all’
      • ‘I hope you had better weather for them than the kind we are having now-a-days, but it is not so bad here considering it is winter.’
      • ‘He's actually not bad… which reminds me, I take it you've seen this excellent ad now.’
      • ‘The replacement sounds I have are not bad; in fact, they are good in their own right.’
      • ‘That's not so bad for a first show, but we hoped for bigger walkup.’
      • ‘It is not so bad if I space out my work, family and other commitments.’
      • ‘There's still a mad scramble the night before, but it's not so bad.’
      • ‘They offer a good range of vegetarian food, the prices are not bad, and they give lovely big portions.’
      • ‘But after a few trips to the toilet and some painkillers it's not so bad.’
      • ‘This was not so bad as the grill was on on quite low.’
      • ‘I left the chillies out from the original recipe and the result was a little uninspiring, but not bad for a first attempt.’
      all right, quite good, good, adequate, acceptable, good enough, reasonable, fair, decent, average, tolerable, passable, middling, moderate, sufficiently good, fine
      ok, so-so, fair-to-middling
      jake
      View synonyms
  • to the bad

    • 1To ruin:

      ‘I hate to see you going to the bad’
      • ‘The third key process I wish to identify is chiefly to the bad.’
      • ‘The husband, left with a ‘keen three-year-old baby’, went to the bad, took to opium, and died.’
      • ‘In many ways, Peter's is the classic story of a youngster who turned to the bad because he could not see any way forward.’
      • ‘Then came the terrible film in which we were expected to believe that she was a well brought up English gal gone to the bad.’
      • ‘He is, to put it a bit too flippantly, a snail geneticist gone to the bad.’
      • ‘It may be stretching the point, but I was reminded of the severed heads adorning the house of another exemplar of humanity gone to the bad.’
      • ‘‘I think I'd go to the bad very quickly,’ he says gravely.’
      • ‘The Britain of this film is a vision of modernity gone to the bad.’
    • 2In deficit:

      ‘he was £80 to the bad’
      • ‘Wessels, the South African, who had began the day at six under finished four shots to the bad.’
      • ‘Against a Sale side lacking two noted match-winners in Robinson and Hodgson, Glasgow were soon eight points to the bad.’
      • ‘But when they finished the first half two points to the bad, after playing with the aid of a significant breeze, they were always unlikely to prevail.’
      • ‘For all Livingston's openings they were two to the bad after the hour mark.’
      • ‘At half-time, as they trudged off three goals to the bad, it looked like both a hiding and nothing.’
      • ‘Defending their European Cup Winners' Cup, Ferguson's side emerged at Pittodrie two goals to the bad against Dosza of Hungary.’
      • ‘As for a final round that he will start five shots to the bad, Monty was cautiously optimistic.’
      • ‘Now he shows up unannounced with his passive-aggressive Chinese flute at The Bride's wedding rehearsal, like Caine gone to the bad.’
      • ‘With one minute of normal time to elapse, Athlone were a goal to the bad.’
  • too bad

    • Used to indicate that something is regrettable but is now beyond retrieval:

      ‘too bad, but that's the way it is’
      • ‘Some guests rarely venture out, which is too bad, since they miss the true magic of Madeira.’
      • ‘It's called socialism, and if the rich squeal like pigs in a poke then too bad.’
      • ‘In a way it's too bad, but if he becomes a casualty, it will be his own fault.’
      • ‘Now when that means you lose a little money on the stock market or whatever, that's too bad.’
      • ‘The fact is there is no queue but we still insist they are jumping one so that's just too bad.’
      • ‘It would be too bad if professional boxing had to be stopped because there is a lot of good talent here.’
      • ‘It's too bad that most of his monologues were so focused on current events because it made them hard to watch now.’
      • ‘Thicks lips are not supposed to be considered to be an aesthetic thing, so too bad.’
      • ‘It's too bad, but this is still a country where those who speak the truth are targeted.’
      • ‘The family photo isn't there, which is too bad because they picked a pretty good one.’

Origin

Middle English: perhaps from Old English bǣddel ‘hermaphrodite, womanish man’.

Pronunciation:

bad

/bad/