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worse

Line breaks: worse
Pronunciation: /wəːs
 
/

Definition of worse in English:

adjective

1Of poorer quality or lower standard; less good or desirable: the accommodation was awful and the food was worse I’m becoming a worse footballer every week
More example sentences
  • She had a friend who was abandoned at birth, a foundling, and she began to realise that abandoned children were in a far worse position than adopted ones.
  • There are examples of far worse psychology research.
  • It is hard to think of a worse time to float an airline.
1.1More serious or severe: the movement made the pain worse
More example sentences
  • But the heroin problem, the underlying source of serious crime, is getting worse.
  • 53 per cent thought that street crime had got worse in the past six months.
  • The prognosis is worse when severe preeclampsia develops during the second trimester.
1.2More reprehensible or evil: it is worse to intend harm than to be indifferent
More example sentences
  • But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil.
  • There is one thing that is worse than evil and that is cowardice in the face of it.
  • Filthy, horrible acts of evil, worse than what he had ever done, were being performed across Faerie.
2 [predicative or as complement] More ill or unhappy: he felt worse, and groped his way back to bed
More example sentences
  • She had a vague feeling that if she heard what he had to say, she would end up feeling even worse than she already was.
  • Yet it was an unhappy household, made worse by hints of Behrman's mania to come.
  • However, Brian Martin, from Glasgow, claims his operation made his left eye worse and left the vision in his right eye blurred.

adverb

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1Less well or skilfully: the more famous I became the worse I painted
More example sentences
  • Blogs of War omits the proverbial best thing about McDonalds: there are always some brats there worse behaved than your own.
  • I certainly don't think these they're worse equipped than people who've undergone conventional schooling.
  • Residents fear such a cut would leave officers worse equipped to fight crime in the town.
1.1More seriously or severely: the others had been drunk too, worse than herself
More example sentences
  • More worryingly, JLP thinks that its Edinburgh store will be even worse hit than in London.
  • Also, if one area is worse affected than others, extra gritting machines could be called in to help.
  • At this point, Kohaku's stomach had already began hurting far worse than Muteki's.

noun

[mass noun] Back to top  
1A more serious or unpleasant event or situation: the small department was already stretched to the limit, but worse was to follow
More example sentences
  • A steep increase in health costs is already underway and worse is yet to come.
  • If Angelo thought this an unhappy day, worse was in store for him.
  • They talked with him about what happened in the cafeteria but Mike just said that he'd had worse and left it at that.
1.1 (the worse) A less good, favourable, or pleasant condition: the weather changed for the worse
More example sentences
  • As long as these two elements exist, not voting will not change the present condition for the worse.
  • PS, sorry to hear Croxy's condition has taken a slight turn for the worse.
  • The cold spell took a turn for the worse at the weekend with roads in a very dangerous condition and very little sign of gritting.

Origin

Old English wyrsa, wiersa (adjective), wiers (adverb), of Germanic origin; related to war.

More
  • war from (Middle English):

    Before the mid 12th century there was no English word exactly meaning war, nor did any of their Germanic relatives have one despite their warlike reputation. The word came over from Old French guerre and is related to worse (Old English). The Guerre itself is of Germanic origin, and originally meant ‘confusion, discord’.

Phrases

none the worse for

1
Not adversely affected by: we were none the worse for our terrible experience
More example sentences
  • My trouser was torn and I had to go home and change into another suit,’ said Ring who was none the worse for the experience.
  • Finally I managed a smooth getaway and went in to shop, none the worse for the encounter and thinking about how much D.J. looks like her Mama except for that red hair.
  • The Jones family anguish turned to unbridled joy early last Wednesday morning when Conor arrived home none the worse for his ordeal after spending over a week sleeping rough.

or worse

2
Used to suggest an unspecified possibility that is more serious or unpleasant than one already considered: the child might be born blind or worse
More example sentences
  • For those without decent jobs, it seems a huge waste of effort or worse.
  • I tried to counsel him that he might only get what everyone else gets or worse.
  • A very narrow margin might in the future give rise to tension, bitterness, or worse.

so much the worse for ——

3
Used to suggest that an unfortunate event or situation is the fault of the person specified and that the speaker does not feel any great concern about it: if they were daft enough to believe it, so much the worse for them
More example sentences
  • If the government cannot punish those they believe deserve punishment within the current bounds, then so much the worse for the government.
  • The important thought to hold onto here is that ethical claims cannot be empirically verified, but that this is so much the worse for empirical verification.
  • We even adopted unilateral free trade towards those countries who, so much the worse for them, persisted with their own protectionism.

the worse for drink

4
Rather drunk: he was somewhat the worse for drink at his farewell party
More example sentences
  • Margaret Lamb, the senior youth worker at the Southbroom Centre, said 13 and 14-year-old girls were turning up at the club at 7.30 pm on a Friday already the worse for drink.
  • I understand that it was a particularly cold night and you went to the club at 9.30 pm and emerged, clearly the worse for drink, five hours later at 2.20 am.
  • My friend, a little the worse for drink, walked straight up to him, performed an exaggerated bow, and exclaimed: ‘Mr John Peel!’

the worse for wear

5
informal
1In a poor condition; worn or shabby: the plane had been kept outside the motel for 30 years and was beginning to look the worse for wear
More example sentences
  • The living-room is somewhat the worse for wear, with a threadbare dark red carpet.
  • Most of these filled baskets looked a little the worse for wear but there were a couple that were in reasonable condition.
  • It is rather the worse for wear, very grainy with pronounced film defects.
Synonyms
shabby, run down, worn out, falling to pieces, falling apart, dilapidated, rickety, ramshackle, crumbling, decayed, antiquated, superannuated, decrepit, on its last legs, battered;
untidy, unkempt, bedraggled, messy, dishevelled, ungroomed, ill-groomed
2Feeling rather unwell, especially as a result of drinking too much alcohol: we had a bad trip, and he emerged from his cabin looking the worse for wear
More example sentences
  • Quite often he'd be drunk and rather the worse for wear.
  • McDonald said she was ‘near-speechless with indignation and anger’ at implications by the police that she had been the worse for wear after drinking.
  • As licensees we don't accept the blame for violent thugs who run riot anywhere because if, in our opinion, we feel someone in our pubs is the worse for wear because of drink then we refuse to serve them.

worse luck

6
see luck.

worse off

7
In a less advantageous position; less fortunate or prosperous: her job was not very enjoyable, but plenty of people were worse off the average family will be £8 worse off in tax
More example sentences
  • A couple with five sons say they are going to be worse off under the new tax credits system - if they ever get any money.
  • In other words if people had the freedom to do what they wanted, overall they would be worse off, and some very much worse off.
  • We remain opposed to any proposal to increase the state pension age that would make manual workers and the poor worse off.

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