Definition of worst in English:

worst

Syllabification: worst
Pronunciation: /wərst
 
/

adjective

1 superlative of bad, ill.
1.1Of the poorest quality or the lowest standard; least good or desirable: the speech was the worst he had ever made
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • One driver gets knocked out every week until the final, and worst driver remains.
1.2Most severe, serious, or dangerous: at least 32 people died in Australia’s worst bus accident
More example sentences
  • The United Nations described the crisis as the world's worst humanitarian disaster, affecting more than 2m people.
  • 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.

adverb

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1 superlative of badly, ill.
2Most severely or seriously: manufacturing and mining are the industries worst affected by falling employment
More example sentences
  • And worst affected of all were those who had written about trauma.
  • The worst hit areas were buses covering New York City, Newark airport, outside New York, and Logan airport in Boston.
  • 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.
2.1Least well, skillfully, or pleasingly: he was voted the worst dressed celebrity
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.

noun

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1The most serious or unpleasant thing that could happen: when I saw the ambulance outside her front door, I began to fear the worst
More example sentences
  • The worst may not happen, but we must prepare for it
  • The absolute worst, and this is what happened yesterday, is when she fills the empty space with an offer to get together again.
  • And we have 100,000 demonstrators out there, so we are hoping for the absolute worst.
1.1The most serious, dangerous, or unpleasant part or stage of something: there are signs that the recession is past its worst
More example sentences
  • Gale Edwards has experienced the best and worst of life in the music theatre business over the past few weeks.
  • The smoke was choking but the worst of it was being carried high into the air.
  • 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.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
Get the better of; defeat: this was not the time for a deep discussion—she was tired and she would be worsted
More example sentences
  • Or, you should be prepared for an all-out war where you are sure to be worsted.
  • But they were worsted in an action at Bhangam, about 10 km northeast of Paonta, on 18 September 1688.
  • 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.
Synonyms
defeat, beat, prevail over, triumph over, trounce, rout, vanquish, conquer, master, overcome, overwhelm, overpower, crush; outdo, outclass, outstrip, surpass
informal thrash, smash, lick, best, clobber, drub, slaughter, murder, wipe out, crucify, demolish, wipe the floor with, take to the cleaners, walk all over, make mincemeat of, shellac, cream, whup

Origin

Old English wierresta, wyrresta (adjective), wierst, wyrst (adverb), of Germanic origin; related to worse.

Phrases

at its (or someone's) worst

In the most serious, undesirable, or unpleasant state: nothing’s working at the moment, so I suppose you’ve seen us at our worst
More example sentences
  • It's a very weird thing to look into the eyes of the person you know best, when you are at your worst, and discover they are happy to see it.
  • With temperatures falling below zero in many parts and sleet and rain forecast for the next few days, road conditions were reported to be at their worst in a decade, particularly in parts of the midlands and southeast.
  • The problems of dumping at the site in Broad Close car park are at their worst over the weekend, when piles of mixed waste and hundreds of cardboard boxes are thrown onto the ground, blocking access to the recycling banks.

at worst (or the worst)

In the most serious case: at worst the injury could mean months in the hospital
More example sentences
  • He said the problem was at best causing an obstruction and at worst could cause a serious accident.
  • Growth for the first six months of 2001 is at best flat and at worst down a few percentage points.
  • Even the government now accepts that this will not happen, but might at worst delay enlargement by some months.
Under the most unfavorable interpretation: the cabinet’s reaction to the crisis was at best ineffective and at worst irresponsible
More example sentences
  • I believe that much of the thinking promoted by the liberal left is lazy at best and downright irresponsible at worst.
  • A narrow focus on electioneering is at best ineffective, and at worst disastrous.
  • It was unfortunate that the Bulgarian summer this year was temperamental at best, and downright terrible at worst.

be one's own worst enemy

see enemy.

do one's worst

(In the view of one’s opponent) do as much damage as one can (often used to express defiance in the face of threats): let them do their worst—he would never surrender
More example sentences
  • I am afraid, however, that no amount of law enforcement can prevent such motivated criminals from doing their worst.
  • I did my mountain climbing and my hill walking when I was a young man, standing proud on the peaks and gazing up to the heavens, challenging them do do their worst.
  • The Victoria police force, it seems, practically challenged Kelly and his gang to do their worst.

get (or have) the worst of it

Be in the least advantageous or successful position; suffer the most.
More example sentences
  • In his surprise at the assault he began by getting the worst of it, but it was not long before both his attackers were on the ground nursing bloodied noses.
  • We can't tell you if it's going to be them or the town to the east or the town to the west that'll have the worst of it.
  • It has been a difficult time for all of us, but Charlotte has had the worst of it.

if worst comes to worst

If the most serious or difficult circumstances arise.
More example sentences
  • It is also a good idea, Direct Line advises, that before it gets really cold, you make sure you know where your water stop valve is - so that if the worst comes to the worst and a pipe does burst, you can turn the water off quickly.
  • John says the course ‘deals with dealing with confrontation, body language and if the worst comes to the worst, self defence.’
  • The map can also display filling stations en route and, if the worst comes to the worst, the location of Volkswagen dealers.

in the worst way

informal Very much: he wants to win in the worst way
More example sentences
  • And, again, this is a time when the state needs the jobs in the worst way.
  • Once you leave this ten-block stretch, you need a car in the worst way.
  • Thirty years ago, Kesey needed to finish a three book contract with Viking in the worst way, so he did.

Definition of worst in:

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Pronunciation: ˈhjuːbrɪs
noun
excessive pride or self-confidence