Definition of badly in English:


Syllabification: bad·ly
Pronunciation: /ˈbadlē

adverb (worse /wərs/, worst /wərst/)

1In an unsatisfactory, inadequate, or unsuccessful way: a badly managed company the war was going badly
More example sentences
  • Both nurses and doctors are working under intense pressure in a service that has been appallingly under-resourced and badly managed.
  • That leader must be bold enough to say that devolution is working badly because it is inadequate, that the denial of fiscal autonomy makes for irresponsible and incompetent government.
  • Parking in Devizes is inadequate, badly organised and is driving people to other towns where parking is free and easier to find.
1.1In an unfavorable way: try not to think badly of me
More example sentences
  • Yes, some criticism is misplaced and should be rejected, but this isn't always the case even with criticism that is badly or rudely phrased.
  • I take criticism very badly, and when I think it is not deserved it sends me into a state of fear and depression.
  • It reflects very badly on NSW Police service and it's no wonder residents no longer give information to police because complaints are not acted on.
1.2In an unacceptable or unpleasant way: she realized she was behaving rather badly
More example sentences
  • But feeling really rather badly treated by the staff I decided to resign from the Social Committee.
  • While we were eating, one of the children - a boy aged about seven - behaved rather badly, and this brought a stern rebuke from his father.
  • But the old king was very angry when he saw how his daughter behaved and how badly she treated all his guests.
2To a great or serious degree; severely: the building was badly damaged by fire I wanted a baby so badly things had begun to go badly wrong
More example sentences
  • Two pet dogs were killed and an historic building badly damaged in a fire at Castle Combe on the night of Wednesday 26 February.
  • The building was so badly damaged in the fire it will have to be demolished.
  • Not only does that stop development and investment; perhaps even more seriously, it badly damages race relations in this country.
desperately, sorely, intensely, seriously, very much, greatly, exceedingly


[as complement] informal Back to top  
Guilty or regretful: I felt badly about my unfriendliness of the previous evening
More example sentences
  • We felt badly about our stock's performance last year.
  • I wanted him to say that he felt badly, felt horrible.
  • I felt badly about tying up the room for half an hour, but the volunteer staff said not to worry.


badly off

In an unfavorable situation; at a disadvantage: with his pension benefits, he shouldn’t be too badly off she was a lot worse off before the divorce
More example sentences
  • Consider first those people who are badly off: those who are suffering, or destitute, or those whose fundamental needs have not been met.
  • And Salvadore says there are others as badly off.
  • So document-wise, I'm not too badly off, either.

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Word of the day bogle
Pronunciation: ˈbəʊɡ(ə)l
a phantom or goblin