Definition of bad in English:

bad

adjective

  • 1Of poor quality or a low standard.

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

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

    ‘the bad guys’
    ‘bad behaviour’
    • ‘Here she tells her about her real self and why she likes being bad on screen’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Teachers in Hull will be quizzed about their pupils' bad behaviour in a survey into classroom violence.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What happens when one's bad behaviour is considered as usual and is no longer condemned or even commented on?’
    • ‘Rather than letting prisoners out early for good behaviour, it might be more sensible to keep them in longer for bad behaviour.’
    • ‘Young footballers who copy the bad behaviour of their professional heroes are receiving adult-size bans.’
    • ‘Ben informs us that his good grades are like a licence for bad behaviour.’
    • ‘She wins her over with headstrong antics, while she goes about being a bad little rich girl.’
    • ‘Despite its official backing the book pulls no punches and includes tales of the singer's bullying and bad behaviour.’
    • ‘Three prison officers gave evidence yesterday about the penalties for reporting bad behaviour by colleagues.’
    • ‘With the bad attitude comes the bad behaviour the tabloids love.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Teachers also noticed a reduction in criminal and bad behaviour.’
    • ‘But bad behaviour is on the increase since the town council replaced the benches last month, they said.’
    • ‘This New York circus duo have been a hit off-Broadway with their brand of vaudeville, kitsch and bad behaviour.’
    • ‘However, the hawks would say that's just giving in to blackmail, rewarding bad behaviour.’
    • ‘We turn our backs on the fact that bad behavior sells seats and bad behavior begets more of the same.’
    • ‘The general level of ignorance on what is good or bad behaviour is compounded by the idealisation of childhood.’
    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.’
      • ‘They were swearing at me as I laid on the floor, with very bad words.’
      • ‘I believed that if I got a cold sore or bit my tongue, it was a punishment for lying or saying a bad word.’
      • ‘People these days are so caught up in work that leisure is a bad word in their vocabulary.’
      • ‘Well there were bad words said, of that there is no doubt but I think the happy couple is back on speaking terms.’
      • ‘Some youngsters even ask adults for cigarettes on the streets and spit out bad words at them if rejected.’
      • ‘The aunt snapped back at her ‘no’, that Aids was a bad word and that she was not to mention it again.’
      • ‘You should have seen the tantrum I threw, banging the floor with my fist and saying bad words.’
      • ‘He stood and thought how he could get it down; he tried long plastic piping, ladders and bad words.’
      • ‘He went to Trinidad to do a show and when he was performing, let loose a stream of bad words.’
      • ‘She has even invented a mechanical parrot that speaks bad French.’
      • ‘Speak very bad words to him in the 90 minutes and, after that, say you're sorry.’
  • 4(of a part of the body) injured, diseased, or painful.

    ‘a bad back’
    • ‘Carefully I slip out from under the covers and I gingerly try putting weight on my bad leg.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My chair is SO uncomfortable, and doesn't support my bad back at all.’
    • ‘After struggling to get it over my bad arm I succeeded and headed downstairs.’
    • ‘She grabbed my bad arm and my shoulder then popped in back into its socket.’
    • ‘I attempted to sit up on my bad arm but quickly realized that wasn't possible.’
    • ‘I pressed the pedal of Josh's bed with my bad foot and it slowly began to rise.’
    • ‘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 taking Baja out for a bathroom run when he yanked me and I slipped on an ice patch, twisting my bad knee.’
    • ‘He hit me in my bad shoulder, the one that got shot, so I hit the ground, and pretended it hurt horribly.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I took a wobbly step on my bad ankle, and instantly, unbearable pain shot up my leg, causing me to fall to my knees.’
    • ‘I was a little tipsy from the beers I had been drinking and the two vicodin I had eaten for my bad back.’
    • ‘After all, our national inheritance also includes heart disease, damp and bad teeth.’
    • ‘I used my good leg to pull myself up and my bad leg to steady myself on.’
    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’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘I waited only an hour in the emergency room, and by now, I was feeling pretty bad.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Tell her how bad your acne makes you feel and ask if she'll set up a dermatologist's visit for you.’
      • ‘Those days I just wanna kick the dirt or maybe just sit there and think about how bad I feel.’
      • ‘I had started feeling pretty ill by this point, and Scott had been feeling pretty bad since after the hike.’
  • 5(of food) decayed; putrid.

    ‘everything in the fridge 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.’
    • ‘You can't get much sleep; and the kids are throwing up because the food is bad.’
    • ‘Second, if fruit went bad during shipment, the wrappers offered some way of containing the spoilage.’
    • ‘The next morning, things got worse as half of our food went 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’
      • ‘Yet he was right behind Siri and was getting bad air from her sail, so he tacked out on port to get clear air.’
      • ‘If you've been watering your plant with bad water for several months, and the plant is clearly declining, things are bad.’
      • ‘This, in conjunction with bad water, leads to the wildfire spread of many infectious diseases and greatly increases diarrhea among children.’
      • ‘Does the arachnid feel a difference in the air between a bad ozone day and a good one?’
      • ‘If economic growth continues, there are bound to be more cars spewing bad air.’
      • ‘There must be a magic line down the middle of the street that divides the good air from the 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.’
      • ‘Soon a fan the size of a card table is pulling the bad air out the street door.’
      • ‘This time I went quickly through surfacing into a spacious airbell, alert for signs of bad air.’
      • ‘The air was still pretty bad, but the tunnel was larger and much less foreboding.’
      • ‘Now, the fire is still going on and the air is still bad, so I had a serious breathing problem.’
  • 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’
    • ‘Luckily I hated the thing so I don't feel too bad about getting a new one.’
    • ‘What happened afterwards was a terrible blow, and I felt bad for all the other players.’
    • ‘It made me feel real bad for him, and for the way I and others were feeling towards him.’
    • ‘I feel slightly bad, but hope you guessed correctly which option I would go for.’
    • ‘I feel so bad for those who have missing family members because I was in their shoes just a sort time ago.’
    • ‘I felt so bad, so ashamed of the person I am today, so worthless, so empty, so useless.’
    • ‘Did he feel bad sending our boys into battle without adequate body armour?’
    • ‘He says dentists feel bad about the situation but he insists their hands are tied.’
    • ‘Rannie came by to check on me, but I was feeling so bad I hardly said anything to him.’
    • ‘I don't feel bad about it for myself, but I feel bad for the effect it had on Rafael.’
    • ‘Of the rest of us, only one was wearing a suit, though, so I didn't feel too bad.’
    • ‘She had been a bitch to Michelle and she felt bad about it after Hope had put it in the light.’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘He relies on the telephone and on an eye trained by expensive experience to ferret out bad checks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Passing a bad check is a felony.’
    • ‘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 suffered money problems and was arrested for passing a bad cheque and other financial charges.’
    • ‘He financed his activities by cashing millions of dollars in bad checks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They said my Child was clean but because there were bad checks written there was going to be a trial.’
    invalid, worthless
    View synonyms
  • 8North American informal Good; excellent.

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

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’
      • ‘"A bad penny always turns up," said my grandmother the day I was born.’
      • ‘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 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.

      • ‘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!’
      • ‘Just because a bad workman always blames his tools doesn't mean blaming one's tools is a sign of being a bad workman.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘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.’
  • come to a bad end

  • from bad to worse

    • Into an even worse state.

      ‘the country's going from bad to worse’
      • ‘The week has gone from bad to worse for the Wexford County Board.’
      • ‘The endowment mortgage crisis just goes from bad to worse.’
      • ‘Back in the party things were going from bad to worse.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Therefore it will reduce the already insufficient number of road lanes, and hence the situation will go from bad to worse.’
      • ‘But with the eradication of that status, the financial position of the State had gone from bad to worse.’
      • ‘She was talking about when things went from bad to worse, and how to document that moment.’
      • ‘This is one of those days, however, that just keeps going from bad to worse, as Brandon and his passengers are soon to discover.’
      • ‘Sensing the situation moving from bad to worse, the reporter sought help from a Boston police officer on duty nearby.’
  • in a bad way

    • Ill or in trouble.

      • ‘A nearby householder, who did not want to be named, said: ‘He's in a bad way and is going to need plastic surgery.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She looked in a bad way, but there was very little anybody could do.’
      • ‘He was in a bad way, so very weak, only the occasional half-hearted flap of his wings.’
      • ‘He looked in a bad way and I think they took him off at Singapore.’
      • ‘His arms were in a bad way - there were no bandages on him at that stage.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They kept stopping for breaks and water and the girl was in a bad way.’
      • ‘I couldn't see her face when they pulled her out, but she looked in a bad way.’
      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'm sorry, it's my bad.’
      • ‘Just kidding; it didn't take long at all - sorry for the linguistic impasse, my bad.’
      • ‘Sorry, it's my bad and my poor English.’
      • ‘I didn't flip the shirt over to see that there is in fact an Ivory-billed Woodpecker on the back, my bad.’
      • ‘I hate when people say ‘my bad’ it's so annoying, just say ‘sorry’ for god's sake.’
  • 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’
      • ‘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 movie harks back to a simpler time for cinema, and in today's world of bloated blockbusters, that's 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.’
      • ‘Artistic competition is no bad thing.’
      • ‘A self-sufficient childhood is no bad thing.’
      • ‘That journalists should be sceptical about large firms is 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.’
      • ‘Martial law was no bad thing in the circumstances.’
      • ‘He said however that it was no bad thing that it was raining.’
      • ‘If this poll sets some alarm bells ringing at the top that might be no bad thing.’
  • not (or not so) bad

    • informal Fairly good.

      ‘she discovered he wasn't so bad after all’
      • ‘That's not so bad for a first show, but we hoped for bigger walkup.’
      • ‘I left the chillies out from the original recipe and the result was a little uninspiring, but not bad for a first attempt.’
      • ‘But after a few trips to the toilet and some painkillers it's not so bad.’
      • ‘He's actually not bad… which reminds me, I take it you've seen this excellent ad now.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The replacement sounds I have are not bad; in fact, they are good in their own right.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They offer a good range of vegetarian food, the prices are not bad, and they give lovely big portions.’
      • ‘This was not so bad as the grill was on on quite low.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Britain of this film is a vision of modernity 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.’
    • 2In deficit.

      ‘he was £80 to the bad’
      • ‘Defending their European Cup Winners' Cup, Ferguson's side emerged at Pittodrie two goals to the bad against Dosza of Hungary.’
      • ‘Now he shows up unannounced with his passive-aggressive Chinese flute at The Bride's wedding rehearsal, like Caine gone 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.’
      • ‘Wessels, the South African, who had began the day at six under finished four shots to the bad.’
      • ‘At half-time, as they trudged off three goals to the bad, it looked like both a hiding and nothing.’
      • ‘As for a final round that he will start five shots to the bad, Monty was cautiously optimistic.’
      • ‘With one minute of normal time to elapse, Athlone were a goal to the bad.’
  • too bad

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

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

      see bad

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

bad

/bad/