Date: 1200-1300
Origin: Perhaps from Old English bæddel 'male homosexual'


1 adjective
Related topics: Food
bad1 S1 W1 comparative worse superlative worst

not good

unpleasant or likely to cause problems [≠ good]:
I have some bad news for you.
I thought things couldn't possibly get any worse.
The plane was delayed for several hours by bad weather.
It's difficult to break bad habits.
a bad smell

low quality

low in quality or below an acceptable standard [≠ good]:
The failure of the company was due to bad management.
Your handwriting is so bad I can hardly read it.
That was the worst movie I've ever seen.

not sensible

[usually before noun] not sensible, or not suitable in a particular situation [≠ good]:
Cutting spending at this time is a bad idea.
Making big changes in your diet all at once is a bad thing to do.

morally wrong

morally wrong or evil [≠ good]:
He's a bad man - keep away from him.
bad guy

wrong behaviour

spoken doing something you should not do, or behaving in a wrong way - used especially about children or pets [= naughty]:
Katie was very bad today!
bad girl/dog etc
Bad cat! Get off the table!


serious or severe:
He was in a bad accident.
The pain in my side is worse than it was yesterday.

a bad time/moment etc

a time that is not suitable or causes problems:
It's a bad time to have to borrow money, with interest rates so high.
You've come at the worst possible moment. I have a meeting in five minutes.


damaging or harmful:
Pollution is having a bad effect on fish stocks.
bad for
Smoking is bad for your health.
Too much salt can be bad for you.
It is bad for kids to be on their own so much.


DF food that is bad is not safe to eat because it has decayed:
bad fish
This milk has gone bad.

no skill

having no skill or ability in a particular activity
bad at (doing) something
I'm really bad at chess.
They have got to be the worst band on the planet.

bad heart/leg/back etc

a heart, leg etc that is injured or does not work correctly:
I haven't been able to do much because of my bad back.


bad language is rude or offensive:
We were shocked to hear the little boy using bad language in front of his mother.
Jacky said a bad word!

be in a bad mood

also be in a bad temper British English to feel annoyed or angry:
The boss is in a bad mood.

feel bad

a) to feel ashamed or sorry about something
feel bad about (doing) something
I felt bad about not being able to come last night.
feel bad for
I feel bad for Ann - she studied so hard for that test and she still didn't pass.
b) to feel ill

not bad

spoken used to say that something is good, or better than you expected:
'How are you?' 'Oh, not bad.'
That's not a bad idea.

not too/so bad

spoken used to say that something is not as bad as expected:
The exams weren't so bad.

too bad

a) used to say that you do not care that something bad happens to someone:
'I'm going to be late now!' 'Too bad, you should have gotten up earlier.'
b) used to say that you are sorry that something bad has happened to someone:
It's too bad that you couldn't come to the party last night.

go from bad to worse

to become even more unpleasant or difficult:
The schools have gone from bad to worse in this area.

be in a bad way

informal to be very ill, unhappy, or injured, or not in a good condition:
She was in a bad way after the funeral.

a bad name

if something has a bad name, people do not respect or trust it
have/get a bad name
The bar had a bad name and was avoided by all the locals.
give somebody/something a bad name
These annoying tourists give all Americans a bad name.

bad lot/sort/type

British English old-fashioned someone who is morally bad or cannot be trusted

bad penny

British English someone or something that causes trouble and is difficult to avoid:
Sure enough, Steve turned up like the proverbial bad penny (=suddenly appeared).

be taken bad

British English informalMI to become ill:
He was taken bad in the middle of the night.

in bad faith

if someone does something in bad faith, they are behaving dishonestly and have no intention of keeping a promise:
In order to sue, you have to prove that the company was acting in bad faith.

bad news

spoken informal someone or something that always causes trouble:
I'd avoid her if I were you. She's bad news.

bad form

British English old-fashioned socially unacceptable behaviour:
It's bad form to argue with the umpire.

bad blood

angry or bitter feelings between people
bad blood between
There's too much bad blood between them.

not have a bad word to say about/against somebody

if no one has a bad word to say about a particular person, everyone likes and respects that person

it's bad enough.....

spoken used to say that you already have one problem, so that you do not want to worry about or deal with another one:
It's bad enough having to bring up three kids on your own without having to worry about money as well!

something can't be bad

spoken used to persuade someone that something is good or worth doing:
You only pay £10 deposit and no interest: that can't be bad, can it?
31 comparative badder, superlative baddest especially American English spoken informal
a) used when you think something is very good:
Now that's a bad car!
b) someone who is bad is very determined and does not always obey rules - used to show approval
badness noun [uncountable]
very bad: awful, terrible, horrible, lousy informal, appalling, ghastly, atrocious, horrendous

bad, but not very bad: not very good, mediocre, second-rate, so-so, lacklustre

of bad quality: shoddy, inferior, poor quality, cheap, crummy informal

bad at doing something: be no good at something

very bad at doing something: hopeless, terrible, useless, lousy informal, incompetent

morally bad: evil, wicked, immoral, corrupt, sick, perverted, degenerate

Dictionary results for "bad"
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