Definition of bad in US English:

bad

adjective

  • 1Of poor quality or a low standard.

    ‘a bad diet’
    ‘bad eyesight’
    • ‘Poor or bad management covers a multitude of sins that could include all of the above and more.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘It also criticised the windows' poor design as a bad example to other developers.’
    • ‘Because of the bad quality of the bank video, it is not clear exactly what happened.’
    • ‘More big fish are lost through bad knots or poor quality crimping than for any other reason.’
    • ‘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 old building was criticised for poor condition, bad layout and having too few interview rooms.’
    • ‘Who wants stuff of doubtful or bad quality, even if it's given for half the price?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘All share some of the ailments of old age, including poor memories, fading eyesight and bad hearing.’
    • ‘The sound quality was so bad that it had to be lowered as the Dolby sorround was not working properly’
    • ‘The film's incredibly bad storyline was only surpassed by the poor acting.’
    • ‘He will also witness bad pass after poor tackle and some woeful marking.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘International standards identify bad loans as those without servicing for three months.’
    • ‘Complain about their bad grammar or poor choice of headlines or biased editorials.’
    • ‘In many ways there are so many bad films, and the blame actually goes to the audience because that's what they want.’
    • ‘Poor decision making, bad handling and lack of enterprise ensured their efforts came to nothing.’
    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’
      • ‘I'm also really very bad at choosing music to play for other people.’
      • ‘The logic goes that the people will vote out someone who is bad at the job.’
      • ‘I'm actually really bad at condensing peoples names to just one or two characters.’
      • ‘They happen to be really bad at managing their bugs, and not providing fixes on time, but that's another issue.’
      • ‘The two were both horribly bad at the game, but had had fun laughing and poking fun at each other about it.’
      • ‘It goes to show that you can be good at oratory but bad at leading.’
      • ‘My criticism is that most publishers are very bad at making a profit.’
      • ‘I'm not sure why humans are so bad at planning for the future, especially for those things we can predict.’
      • ‘Why are women so good at working collaboratively and men so bad at it?’
      • ‘Well, being very bad at accepting any kind of compliment, I will just shuffle my feet a bit here.’
      • ‘I wondered when I'd become so bad at articulating any kind of helpful advice.’
      • ‘How does being good or bad at sport when you're a child affect you as an adult?’
      • ‘I have shaky hands and weak wrists, and am very bad at carrying drinks and plates.’
      • ‘Fathers are seen as particularly bad at communicating with their children and getting involved with their lives.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So, being bad at golf actually burns up more calories than being good at it.’
      • ‘Yes, I do think that sometimes philosophers are very bad at it, because they don't think about it.’
      • ‘It all seems so cruel that I should be so bad at parenting yet have such an easy time conceiving.’
      • ‘There will also be a session on how to start a sex magazine and another on why the British are so bad at pornography.’
    2. 1.2 Not 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.’
      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 weather’
    ‘we had the worst luck’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Pacifism is absolutely not about shutting your eyes and hoping all the bad things will go away.’
    • ‘Quake victims grab what they can in aid, while bad weather slows down the relief.’
    • ‘Even the TV had the grace to allow a bad weather news day to take precedence.’
    • ‘Local fishermen are counting the cost of bad weather but, hopefully, can return to work early this week.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The forecast for the rest of the week looks pretty grim and the bad weather looks like staying with us.’
    • ‘Over the last two years, the news has been uniformly bad, with every club in the SPL forced to downturn its finances.’
    • ‘I went out to the deck, hoping even with the bad weather that I could train a bit.’
    • ‘He tells her that he almost hopes something bad would happen to her so that he could save her at any cost.’
    • ‘A local farmer praised milk tanker drivers for their perseverance during the awful spate of bad weather.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, we had a lot of bad weather recently and an extraordinary amount of games were called off.’
    • ‘But the news from Ireland was bad: trustworthy tenants were thin on the ground.’
    • ‘I was determined to ride out the bad times in hope that the good times were still to come.’
    • ‘I was hoping it was a bad dream or at best a hallucination from a midnight toilet break.’
    • ‘The good news (or bad, depending on how you look at it) is that I'm not the only one who feels this way.’
    • ‘Sitting in his Hong Kong office, he reports that there is good news and bad.’
    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’
      • ‘The water was a bit soapy and although she never got pregnant, she had some really bad aches and pains for weeks after that.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Anyone who has ever suffered a bad toothache or a broken tooth, will know that emergency treatment is a must.’
      • ‘Imagine having air forced into your lungs when you have a bad chest infection?’
      • ‘You know I think there are really bad problems with pollution in Johannesburg.’
      • ‘Migraines can cause very bad pain that can get in the way of your normal routine.’
      • ‘The pain was so bad that you told me that you were going to go to the hospital.’
      • ‘The dumbest thing is that the pain isn't bad enough to make me feel like I should stay home.’
      • ‘It wasn't a bad wound, just painful, and he would need to rest for several more days.’
      • ‘Light pollution is so bad that many people in this country can no longer see the stars, research showed yesterday.’
      • ‘Beijing was bidding to bring the world's finest athletes to a city with very bad air pollution.’
      • ‘I had chests pains, a very bad headache and my eyes were sore and bloodshot.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My vision is affected and the pain is so bad that I can't do anything until it goes away.’
      • ‘The best way to describe the pain in my hands and feet is during the morning, it is like a bad toothache.’
      • ‘The wagon overturned and Clyde took a bad spill, injuring one of his legs.’
      • ‘The first seemed more likely, and all the muscles in my body tensed for a bad blow.’
      severe, serious, grave, critical, grievous, acute, dreadful, terrible, awful, ghastly, dire, grim, frightful, shocking
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    2. 2.2 Unfavorable; adverse.
      ‘bad reviews’
      • ‘Normally, if you see a bad review on a Christmas movie its on some real syrupy, schmaltzy one.’
      • ‘We find it hilarious whenever we get bad reviews because it has absolute zero effect on our sales.’
      • ‘A musician once said to me if you don't get any bad reviews you're not doing your job.’
      • ‘He had the disgruntled air of a writer whinging over a bad review.’
      • ‘The worst thing is when your mother calls you on the phone to read you your bad reviews out loud.’
      • ‘What if I hate it and have to write a bad review about their friend's band?’
      • ‘Even bad reviews and previews usually have a nice sentence or two about the game.’
      • ‘It's not simply a bad review from the point of view of its subject - it's a bad review from every angle.’
      • ‘It has been a sorry period for Swindon's schools, and the reasons behind the town's bad marks are difficult to boil down.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There are some really bad reviews of it, but I would kind of like to take a look at it nonetheless.’
      • ‘I used to think this was a form of compensation, a kind of insurance policy for a bad grade or a poor paper.’
      • ‘A good or bad review by a fashion writer or food critic for example can make or break a designer or restaurant.’
      • ‘What about the kids who because of zoning have to go to a school that has a bad Education Review Office report?’
      • ‘You have a tendency to believe the reviews that are good and trash the reviews that are bad.’
      • ‘I've only seen one bad review and that was from some mug that clearly hadn't even played it.’
      • ‘He was sick, the production had all sorts of problems and the result was his first really bad reviews.’
      • ‘Seen from that point of view, it is evident that even a bad review is better than none at all.’
      • ‘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.’
    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.’
      • ‘I doubt anything much can be done to stop the recession and this will be bad for IT spending.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If that does not happen, it will be bad for him, worse still for Britain, and even worse for the world.’
      • ‘To be fair, not all of the legislation brought in by the Scottish Parliament is bad for business.’
      • ‘In plain English, smoking looks bad, smells bad, and is just downright bad for you.’
      • ‘Some flower beds and tubs have been planted up but the weather has been to bad for painting.’
      • ‘So let's not get fooled by our astrologer pals who claim one number or another is bad for us.’
      • ‘That said, stories like this are bad for the sport, and that affects all of us.’
      • ‘But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and like a thing which is bad for you.’
      • ‘It's about a very contemporary cultural superstition that love is actually bad for you.’
      • ‘Marriage as it stands is good for children, good for husbands and bad for wives.’
      • ‘I know it's bad for me, that I should be doing stuff, any stuff just so long as I keep active.’
      • ‘Christmas shopping could be bad for your health, a top physiotherapist has warned.’
      • ‘But the fact that being a man is bad for you may also have much to do with men's attitude to health.’
      • ‘The doctors do not say that all exercise is bad for you: they even recommend a little walking.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Is spending too much time online really bad for you because you miss out on personal interaction?’
      • ‘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.’
      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 behavior’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘However, the hawks would say that's just giving in to blackmail, rewarding bad behaviour.’
    • ‘Teachers in Hull will be quizzed about their pupils' bad behaviour in a survey into classroom violence.’
    • ‘The general level of ignorance on what is good or bad behaviour is compounded by the idealisation of childhood.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 also noticed a reduction in criminal and bad behaviour.’
    • ‘Young footballers who copy the bad behaviour of their professional heroes are receiving adult-size bans.’
    • ‘But bad behaviour is on the increase since the town council replaced the benches last month, they said.’
    • ‘Three prison officers gave evidence yesterday about the penalties for reporting bad behaviour by colleagues.’
    • ‘Despite its official backing the book pulls no punches and includes tales of the singer's bullying and bad behaviour.’
    • ‘Here she tells her about her real self and why she likes being bad on screen’
    • ‘Rather than letting prisoners out early for good behaviour, it might be more sensible to keep them in longer for bad behaviour.’
    • ‘This New York circus duo have been a hit off-Broadway with their brand of vaudeville, kitsch and bad behaviour.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With the bad attitude comes the bad behaviour the tabloids love.’
    • ‘Ben informs us that his good grades are like a licence for bad behaviour.’
    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.
  • 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.’
    • ‘After struggling to get it over my bad arm I succeeded and headed downstairs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She grabbed my bad arm and my shoulder then popped in back into its socket.’
    • ‘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 attempted to sit up on my bad arm but quickly realized that wasn't possible.’
    • ‘My chair is SO uncomfortable, and doesn't support my bad back at all.’
    • ‘After all, our national inheritance also includes heart disease, damp and bad teeth.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1as 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Even if you don't feel that bad, meningitis is a quick moving disease so it's better to be safe than sorry.’
      • ‘I waited only an hour in the emergency room, and by now, I was feeling pretty bad.’
      • ‘Would allergic kids let us know if they felt bad or accidentally contacted something?’
      • ‘I had started feeling pretty ill by this point, and Scott had been feeling pretty bad since after the hike.’
      ill, unwell, sick, not well, not very well, ailing, poorly, sickly, peaky, afflicted, indisposed, infirm, liverish
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  • 5(of food) decayed; putrid.

    ‘everything in the fridge went bad’
    • ‘Second, if fruit went bad during shipment, the wrappers offered some way of containing the spoilage.’
    • ‘The stray dogs may be hungrier, but I don't think they ever ate that bad rice.’
    • ‘You can't get much sleep; and the kids are throwing up because the food is bad.’
    • ‘The next morning, things got worse as half of our food went bad.’
    • ‘Many feared that if the food went bad and somebody became ill that they would be liable and could be sued.’
    rotten, off, decayed, decomposed, decomposing, putrid, putrefied, putrescent, mouldy, mouldering
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    1. 5.1 (of the atmosphere) polluted; unhealthy.
      ‘bad air’
      • ‘If you've been watering your plant with bad water for several months, and the plant is clearly declining, things are bad.’
      • ‘There must be a magic line down the middle of the street that divides the good air from the bad air.’
      • ‘This time I went quickly through surfacing into a spacious airbell, alert for signs of 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.’
      • ‘The air was still pretty bad, but the tunnel was larger and much less foreboding.’
      • ‘This, in conjunction with bad water, leads to the wildfire spread of many infectious diseases and greatly increases diarrhea among children.’
      • ‘Now, the fire is still going on and the air is still bad, so I had a serious breathing problem.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If economic growth continues, there are bound to be more cars spewing bad air.’
      • ‘Does the arachnid feel a difference in the air between a bad ozone day and a good one?’
      • ‘Soon a fan the size of a card table is pulling the bad air out the street door.’
  • 6as 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 feel so bad for those who have missing family members because I was in their shoes just a sort time ago.’
    • ‘It seems the front door was actually unlocked, so the girls felt bad about me falling for naught.’
    • ‘I don't feel bad about it for myself, but I feel bad for the effect it had on Rafael.’
    • ‘Rannie came by to check on me, but I was feeling so bad I hardly said anything to him.’
    • ‘I feel slightly bad, but hope you guessed correctly which option I would go for.’
    • ‘It made me feel real bad for him, and for the way I and others were feeling towards him.’
    • ‘He says dentists feel bad about the situation but he insists their hands are tied.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Luckily I hated the thing so I don't feel too bad about getting a new one.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What happened afterwards was a terrible blow, and I felt bad for all the other players.’
    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 checks’
    • ‘They may steal, write bad checks or commit illegal activities to finance their habit.’
    • ‘They said my Child was clean but because there were bad checks written there was going to be a trial.’
    • ‘He had already suffered the loss when he received the bad cheque from her.’
    • ‘Passing a bad check is a felony.’
    • ‘He suffered money problems and was arrested for passing a bad cheque and other financial charges.’
    • ‘He relies on the telephone and on an eye trained by expensive experience to ferret out bad checks.’
    • ‘The bank has been dogged by bad real estate loans since it was formed by the merger of two Munich-based banks in 1998.’
    • ‘The geeks will not inherit the earth: They spend too much time watching movies and checking for bad physics.’
    • ‘He financed his activities by cashing millions of dollars in bad checks.’
    • ‘However bad or good these checks are depends on the publication, but they are there.’
    • ‘One of my earlier cases was investigating a bad cheque that had been passed at a local merchant.’
    • ‘After a couple of traffic offense cases and a few bad check writers were dealt with, he married us.’
    invalid, worthless
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  • 8North American 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.’’
    • ‘She knew she was badder than these wannabe hoodlums.’
    • ‘He was amusing, and he made me feel as if I was the baddest one in the place.’
    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 have a problem using your templates, and I want them real bad.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 fancy her real bad!’
    • ‘It would be disrespectful of me to talk bad of her on a forum that everybody can read.’

Usage

Confusion in the use of bad versus badly usually has to do with verbs called copulas, such as feel or seem. Thus, standard usage calls for I feel bad, not I feel badly. As a precise speaker or writer would explain, I feel badly means ‘I do not have a good sense of touch.’ See also good

Phrases

  • 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.’
      • ‘This is one of those days, however, that just keeps going from bad to worse, as Brandon and his passengers are soon to discover.’
      • ‘The week has gone from bad to worse for the Wexford County Board.’
      • ‘He was switched to left back - his natural position - at the beginning of the current season and things have gone from bad to worse.’
      • ‘Sensing the situation moving from bad to worse, the reporter sought help from a Boston police officer on duty nearby.’
      • ‘The endowment mortgage crisis just goes from bad to worse.’
      • ‘But with the eradication of that status, the financial position of the State had 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She was talking about when things went from bad to worse, and how to document that moment.’
  • in a bad way

    • Ill or in trouble.

      ‘Sammy shivered. He was in a bad way’
      ‘the fleet was in a bad way, mainly due to a shortage of spares’
      • ‘He looked in a bad way and I think they took him off at Singapore.’
      • ‘She looked in a bad way, but there was very little anybody could do.’
      • ‘A nearby householder, who did not want to be named, said: ‘He's in a bad way and is going to need plastic surgery.’’
      • ‘They kept stopping for breaks and water and the girl was in a bad way.’
      • ‘He was in a bad way, so very weak, only the occasional half-hearted flap of his wings.’
      • ‘His arms were in a bad way - there were no bandages on him at that stage.’
      • ‘I couldn't see her face when they pulled her out, but she looked in a bad way.’
      • ‘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 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 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.’
      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 about the confusion. It's 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.’
      • ‘Sorry, it's my bad and my poor English.’
      • ‘Just kidding; it didn't take long at all - sorry for the linguistic impasse, my bad.’
      • ‘I'm sorry, it's my bad.’
      • ‘I hate when people say ‘my bad’ it's so annoying, just say ‘sorry’ for god's sake.’
  • not (or not so) bad

    • informal Fairly good.

      ‘she discovered he wasn't so bad after all’
      • ‘It is not so bad if I space out my work, family and other commitments.’
      • ‘The replacement sounds I have are not bad; in fact, they are good in their own right.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That's not so bad for a first show, but we hoped for bigger walkup.’
      • ‘He's actually not bad… which reminds me, I take it you've seen this excellent ad now.’
      • ‘I left the chillies out from the original recipe and the result was a little uninspiring, but not bad for a first attempt.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      all right, quite good, good, adequate, acceptable, good enough, reasonable, fair, decent, average, tolerable, passable, middling, moderate, sufficiently good, fine
      View synonyms
  • to the bad

    • 1To ruin.

      ‘I hate to see you going to the bad’
      • ‘‘I think I'd go to the bad very quickly,’ he says gravely.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He is, to put it a bit too flippantly, a snail geneticist gone 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.’
      • ‘The husband, left with a ‘keen three-year-old baby’, went to the bad, took to opium, and died.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Britain of this film is a vision of modernity gone to the bad.’
      1. 1.1In deficit.
        ‘he was $80 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.’
        • ‘Now he shows up unannounced with his passive-aggressive Chinese flute at The Bride's wedding rehearsal, like Caine gone to the bad.’
        • ‘As for a final round that he will start five shots to the bad, Monty was cautiously optimistic.’
        • ‘Defending their European Cup Winners' Cup, Ferguson's side emerged at Pittodrie two goals to the bad against Dosza of Hungary.’
        • ‘At half-time, as they trudged off three goals to the bad, it looked like both a hiding and nothing.’
        • ‘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’
      • ‘In a way it's too bad, but if he becomes a casualty, it will be his own fault.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The family photo isn't there, which is too bad because they picked a pretty good one.’
      • ‘It's too bad, but this is still a country where those who speak the truth are targeted.’
      • ‘The fact is there is no queue but we still insist they are jumping one so that's just too bad.’
      • ‘Some guests rarely venture out, which is too bad, since they miss the true magic of Madeira.’
      • ‘Now when that means you lose a little money on the stock market or whatever, that's too bad.’
      • ‘Thicks lips are not supposed to be considered to be an aesthetic thing, so too bad.’
      • ‘It's called socialism, and if the rich squeal like pigs in a poke then too bad.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

bad

/bad//bæd/