Definition of worst in English:



  • 1Of the poorest quality or the lowest standard; least good or desirable.

    ‘he was the company's worst driver’
    ‘the speech was the worst he had ever made’
    • ‘Remember, the Wallabies played their worst game all season last year and still swept past Scotland at a canter in the World Cup quarter-final.’
    • ‘In the interview I mentioned last time, he's rather down on this album himself, which is generally considered his worst.’
    • ‘He said: ‘Without any doubt they will be the Post Office's worst results ever.’’
    • ‘The department has been unhappy with the media practice of rearranging the data into a ranking order of best to worst performing schools, and this new system will make it more difficult to do that.’
    • ‘Bucks should have no problem beating Hellenic who are going through their worst season ever, and have even emerged as early relegation candidates.’
    • ‘The council says private landlords are responsible for the worst housing in the town.’
    • ‘In almost unplayable conditions Blackburn produced their worst performance of the season against local rivals Bolton.’
    • ‘One driver gets knocked out every week until the final, and worst driver remains.’
    • ‘He was disgusted by the recent events with four players partying in the Red Stripe Mound immediately after posting their worst score ever at Sabina!’
    • ‘‘The worst professor I ever had, though, was for a course in administrative law,’ she recalls.’
    • ‘The worst cheese I ever had though was a sheep's cheese.’
    • ‘Oldham's Beever Primary School recorded the region's highest level of unauthorised absence last year - ranking as the 23rd worst in the country.’
    • ‘Though cleverly written, I consider this one of Hemingway's worst stories.’
    • ‘It was their third defeat in as many games, and they are at the bottom of the Superliga with the division's worst defensive record, 11 goals conceded in 270 minutes.’
    • ‘Little do they know that they have picked the absolute worst getaway driver - a compulsive who cannot go a hair above the speed limit.’
    • ‘Wheat growers are expecting their worst crop ever.’
    • ‘The worst performance I've ever seen on stage is by one of these guys.’
    • ‘Kasparov, a five-time Oscar winner, finished fourth overall with 2262, his worst placing ever.’
    • ‘The borough's detection rate is ranked the eighth worst in the country, with only 16.2 per cent of all reported crimes being solved.’
    • ‘‘That must have been one of my worst races ever,’ said Purdie.’
    1. 1.1Most severe or serious.
      ‘at least 32 people died in Australia's worst bus accident’
      • ‘Judge Martin Rudland said it was one of the worst cases of dangerous driving he had ever heard.’
      • ‘Italian weather experts call the heat wave one of the five worst in the past 150 years and expected the sizzle to last until September.’
      • ‘The worst hailstorm ever to hit Egypt struck, beating down crops growing in the fields and even killing people and animals caught in it.’
      • ‘The worst tornado I've ever seen before this was the one in southern Texas back in '96 that killed 40 people.’
      • ‘City manager Tom Mackey acknowledged that the city was facing one of its worst financial crises and would have to seriously tighten its belt.’
      • ‘Can he follow through, not bow to pressure and continue chiding the people into conservation and taking necessary measures as the country faces it worst water shortage ever?’
      • ‘Australia's worst railway accident was in 1977 in the Sydney suburb of Granville, in which 83 people died.’
      • ‘Relatives of victims of Bradford's worst industrial disaster came together to unveil a memorial stone 120 years on.’
      • ‘The United Nations described the crisis as the world's worst humanitarian disaster, affecting more than 2m people.’
      • ‘The worst pandemic ever seen was an outbreak of Spanish flu in 1918 which killed millions around the world, including at least 200,000 in Britain.’
      • ‘By mixing drama, documentary, graphics and archive material, the programme gives an extraordinary insight into the world's worst industrial disaster.’
      • ‘In Queens, New York, cold rain mixed with tears as hundreds marked the third anniversary of the second worst aviation accident in U.S. history.’
      • ‘It is the country's worst maritime disaster and ranks as one of the world's worst ferry accidents of all time.’
      • ‘Chinese authorities have attributed Friday's tragedy to torrential rains that caused the area's worst flash flood and mudslide in 200 years.’
      • ‘The worst stock market slump in 30 years has hammered global financial stocks, raising fears about the capital strength of banks and insurers.’
      • ‘With the nation in its worst economic crisis in a generation, budgets to maintain railway lines and other equipment have been severely slashed.’
      • ‘They huddled in blankets donated in massive international relief operations to help El Salvador cope with its worst quake in at least a decade.’
      • ‘In one of the worst blackouts, residents were left without heat and light for nine hours.’
      • ‘The worst flooding in a century has left several parts of Guyana under five and six feet of water.’
      • ‘Neal Ascherson, chronicler of the great events in postwar Europe, spent the past week in court assessing a case that goes to the heart of the last century's worst crime.’


  • 1Most severely or seriously.

    ‘manufacturing and mining are the industries worst affected by falling employment’
    • ‘This comes as torrential rain forced hundreds of people from their homes in north-east Scotland, the area worst hit by this weekend's extreme weather.’
    • ‘Thankfully no horses were lost this year and in fact the jocks came off worst.’
    • ‘The areas worst hit will be around Parliament Street and Temple Bar.’
    • ‘And worst affected of all were those who had written about trauma.’
    • ‘Meanwhile health chiefs in the area worst hit by foot and mouth yesterday called a halt on the use of pyres to burn thousands of animal carcasses, amid fears that the smoke might affect the health of people living downwind.’
    • ‘Celebrations are banned in the countries hurt worst.’
    • ‘Cumbria has the unenviable reputation of being the county worst hit by the virus with 877 confirmed outbreaks and more than 1.1 million animals culled in total.’
    • ‘One of the worst hit villages, Naburn, was temporarily cut off by the rising waters.’
    • ‘Already York residents have been asked to show friends around the worst hit areas.’
    • ‘The worst hit areas were buses covering New York City, Newark airport, outside New York, and Logan airport in Boston.’
    • ‘In Jakarta, the city worst hit by this epidemic, over 6,200 people have been afflicted by the disease and 50 of them have died.’
    1. 1.1Least well or pleasingly.
      ‘he was voted the worst-dressed celebrity’
      • ‘Being a woman, too, has its disadvantages, given the lack of genuinely good comedic parts being written, or the tabloid culture of exposing celebrities whenever they look their worst.’
      • ‘There's nothing redeeming in softball, a pastime that seems to attract the greasiest, worst dressed residents of local areas to neighbourhood parks.’
      • ‘The worst dressed decade of all times has to be the 1980s.’
      • ‘Watch Joan and Melissa Rivers blow the whistle on the evening's best and, yes, worst dressed.’
      • ‘The adolescent girls appeared to account for both internal reactions as well as external feedback when considering what feels best and worst about being good.’
      • ‘The results of the vote that the world has been holding its breath for are just in: fashion guru Mr Blackwell's worst dressed women list.’
      • ‘And lo, there was a race within the race for the fastest male runner, fastest female runner, worst dressed runner, funniest runner awards and more.’


  • 1The most serious or unpleasant thing that could happen.

    ‘when I saw the ambulance outside her front door, I began to fear the worst’
    • ‘The worst may not happen, but we must prepare for it’
    • ‘They have also taken steps to ensure they could still meet school fees if the worst should happen.’
    • ‘She was beginning to fear the absolute worst.’
    • ‘And we have 100,000 demonstrators out there, so we are hoping for the absolute worst.’
    • ‘I have no idea whether he took illegal substances or not, but let's assume the worst.’
    • ‘Mrs Mitchell said that they are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.’
    • ‘He invited the reporter into his home and explained the facts, but suspected the worst.’
    • ‘She was expecting the worst at any moment as she opened the door to the gym area.’
    • ‘She failed to respond to calls and text messages to her mobile phone and police feared the worst.’
    • ‘It was beyond me to work out that the worst that could happen was she would say she wasn't interested.’
    • ‘If the worst happens, the mortgage would be covered, but he has no other life insurance.’
    • ‘The worst would probably be strategic isolation within the region, and all the additional resources that would, as a consequence, be needed for defense.’
    • ‘Certainly, Landi Khotal station looked as if it had been built to expect the worst.’
    • ‘My mother immediately knew that the worst had happened if her youngest child had not come home.’
    • ‘While we were expecting the worst, none of us could be prepared for how devastating this is.’
    • ‘The absolute worst, and this is what happened yesterday, is when she fills the empty space with an offer to get together again.’
    • ‘I lay there expecting the worst at any moment.’
    • ‘So I walked around all weekend thinking the absolute worst.’
    1. 1.1The most serious or unpleasant part of something.
      ‘there are signs that the recession is past its worst’
      • ‘The worst of the weather had come on a holiday, with offices and most shops closed, and people already indoors, at family celebrations.’
      • ‘The worst of the weather is expected to impact the region between Thursday, December 23rd and Sunday December 26th.’
      • ‘With a bit of prudence we should be able to avoid the worst of times.’
      • ‘And the reward is great - by the time we're settled it'll be Spring and we can start off on the new project, whatever it is, filled with enthusiasm, getting the worst of it done before the seasons change again and the days grow shorter once more.’
      • ‘The worst of the country's terrorism seemed to be in the past.’
      • ‘So in an effort to bring you the best and worst of the past year, here are my top ten sporting highlights as well as my top five lows!’
      • ‘The annual event, held in the shadow of St Magnus Cathedral, escaped the worst of the forecast weather.’
      • ‘I have simplified our relationship down to the fact that Eliza and I bring out the best and worst in each other, but continue to love each other despite it all.’
      • ‘It looked like Robyn may have been over the worst of the disease when tests showed no sign of the cancer.’
      • ‘The worst of the snow will be on high ground but there will be some on lower ground.’
      • ‘But officials are hoping that the worst of this new flooding is over.’
      • ‘The worst of the looting was over, and there was enough calm in the shattered streets for her to feel the popular elation, despite the fear and violence that lay below the surface.’
      • ‘The worst of the attack is over but I'm still spending a great deal of time sleeping and, although the fever's gone, the mysterious joint and muscular aches remain.’
      • ‘‘The worst of the problems is the anti-social behaviour,’ she said.’
      • ‘The worst of the gales were predicted to hit the South West, in particular Devon and Cornwall, with high winds also affecting parts of Wales, southern England and the Midlands.’
      • ‘We are all sick with mucky colds again and Amelia is in the middle of the worst of it.’
      • ‘The smoke was choking but the worst of it was being carried high into the air.’
      • ‘I had asked whether Yorkshire would escape the worst of the foot and mouth outbreak.’
      • ‘Gale Edwards has experienced the best and worst of life in the music theatre business over the past few weeks.’
      • ‘The worst of the problems seem to be a thing of the past.’


  • Get the better of; defeat.

    ‘this was not the time for a deep discussion—she was tired and she would be worsted’
    • ‘The Eluru, Andhra Pradesh born techie also developed the electronics for Pacific Blue, the advanced version of IBM's Deep Blue computer that worsted Garry Kasparov in a chess series.’
    • ‘But they were worsted in an action at Bhangam, about 10 km northeast of Paonta, on 18 September 1688.’
    • ‘The rebels had been worsted by Jiang Zhongyuan's Hunan braves at Soyi Ford.’
    • ‘Kathopanishad tells the story of Nachiketas who boldly wrangled with Yama, the god of death, and worsted him.’
    • ‘It is possible that one of the Irish kingdoms might ultimately have established a more permanent hegemony, but for the common pattern whereby a worsted claimant sought outside aid.’
    • ‘In the civil war which ensued Boleslaw was worsted and compelled to take refuge in Hungary.’
    • ‘In retrospect, he joins the long list of those who verbally dueled with George and came out worsted.’
    • ‘Or, you should be prepared for an all-out war where you are sure to be worsted.’
    • ‘Cleon is worsted not by an upright and dignified man but by an illiterate and brazen cynic who beats him at his own game.’
    • ‘In order to stave off the opponent's attack at the last moment and restore one's position one must keep the moral attitude of initiative so as not to get worsted by the adversary.’
    • ‘Subsequently levered out of defensive positions on the Bidassoa, Nivelle, and Nive, his battered army was worsted again at Orthez in February 1814, and driven from Toulouse on 11 April.’
    • ‘When interrogated before the royal council she turned evidence against her brother, and offered to fight him - by proxy - in judicial combat, adding that she would be gladly burned alive if her champion was worsted.’
    • ‘They were more apt to chronicle - for moralizing purposes - the failures, when the authorities were worsted by Vikings, flagrant challengers to the Christian order of things.’
    • ‘It is in his court that Yajnavalkya worsted all others and had that famous dispute with Gargi.’
    • ‘Cheka and Red Army units sent to suppress the peasant rebels were sometimes worsted, sometimes victorious (sometimes it was pitchforks versus machine guns).’
    defeat, beat, best, get the better of, gain the advantage over, prevail over, triumph over, gain a victory over, trounce, rout, thrash, drub, vanquish, conquer, master, overcome, overwhelm, overpower, overthrow, crush, subdue, subjugate
    outdo, outclass, outstrip, surpass, outwit, outsmart, score points off, make a fool of, humiliate
    lick, clobber, whip, hammer, beat hollow, slaughter, murder, kill, wipe out, do in, crucify, demolish, wipe the floor with, take to the cleaners, walk all over, run rings around, make mincemeat of, blow out of the water, give someone a hiding, get one up on, get one over on
    shellac, blow out, cream, skunk, slam
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Old English wierresta, wyrresta (adjective), wierst, wyrst (adverb), of Germanic origin; related to worse.