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American English: /bæd/
British English: /bad/

Translation of bad in Spanish:

adjective comparative worse superlative worst

The usual translation of bad, malo, becomes mal when it is used before a masculine singular noun.
  • 1 1.1 (of poor quality) her handwriting is bad
    tiene mala letra
    he's a bad liar
    no sabe mentir
    that wouldn't be a bad idea
    no es mala idea
    no estaría mal
    Example sentences
    • More big fish are lost through bad knots or poor quality crimping than for any other reason.
    • There were a lot of bad websites at one point where the loading was bad, quality of images were poor and the interface was clumsy.
    • The poor living conditions, bad diet, lack of exercise and now being alone have all taken their toll.
    1.2 (unreliable, incompetent) (predicative) to be bad at something/-ing
    ser malo para algo/+ infinitive
    I'm bad at names/remembering dates
    soy malo or no tengo cabeza para los nombres /para recordar fechas
    to be bad about -inghe's bad about returning things he's borrowed
    le cuesta devolver lo que pide prestado
    to be bad on somethingI'm bad on punctuation
    la puntuación no es mi fuerte
    Example sentences
    • Yes, I do think that sometimes philosophers are very bad at it, because they don't think about it.
    • Now, having said all that, it still has to be said that Dawn is pretty bad at fantasy football.
    • I'm not sure why humans are so bad at planning for the future, especially for those things we can predict.
  • 2 2.1 (unpleasant)
    I've had a bad day
    he tenido (un) mal día
    to go from bad to worse
    ir de mal en peor
    it tastes/smells bad
    sabe/huele mal
    tiene mal gusto/olor
    Example sentences
    • I went out to the deck, hoping even with the bad weather that I could train a bit.
    • Even the TV had the grace to allow a bad weather news day to take precedence.
    • In the days before the wireless, he was trained to bear news of imminent bad weather from island to island.
    2.2 (unsatisfactory) you've come at a bad moment
    vienes en (un) mal momento
    it's been a bad year for wine/the tourist industry
    ha sido un mal año de vinos/para el turismo
    that's not bad at all!
    ¡no está nada mal!
    it'll look bad if you don't turn up
    queda mal or feo que no vayas
    it was bad that nobody visited her
    estuvo muy mal que no fuera nadie a verla
    (it's) too bad we don't have a car [colloquial]
    ¡qué lástima que no tengamos coche!
    too bad you didn't think of that earlier! [colloquial]
    ¡haberlo pensado antes! [colloquial]
    it's too bad you can't come
    es una lástima or una pena que no puedas venir
    if she doesn't like it, that's just too bad [colloquial]
    si no le gusta, peor para ella
    I was here first — too bad! [colloquial]
    yo llegué antes — ¡pues mala suerte!
    2.3 (harmful) to be bad for somebody/somethingtoo much food is bad for you
    comer demasiado es malo or hace mal
    smoking is bad for your health
    fumar es malo or perjudicial para la salud
    Example sentences
    • Whether it is good for you or not, I would contend that all food can be good for you or it can be bad for you.
    • Some flower beds and tubs have been planted up but the weather has been to bad for painting.
    • If I did not know better, I would have to say that running is bad for you, with both of us seriously ill.
  • 3 3.1 (impolite)
    a bad word
    una palabrota
    una mala palabra
    bad boy/girl! don't do that!
    ¡no hagas eso! ¡malo/mala!
    Example sentences
    • Teachers also noticed a reduction in criminal and bad behaviour.
    • What happens when one's bad behaviour is considered as usual and is no longer condemned or even commented on?
    • The general level of ignorance on what is good or bad behaviour is compounded by the idealisation of childhood.
    Example sentences
    • She has even invented a mechanical parrot that speaks bad French.
    • They were swearing at me as I laid on the floor, with very bad words.
    • Speak very bad words to him in the 90 minutes and, after that, say you're sorry.
    3.2 (evil)
    anyone who likes children can't be all bad
    si le gustan los niños no puede ser tan malo
  • 4 (severe)
    he has a bad cough
    tiene mucha tos
    a boy with bad acne/a bad stammer
    un chico con mucho acné/que tartamudea mucho
    Example sentences
    • The water was a bit soapy and although she never got pregnant, she had some really bad aches and pains for weeks after that.
    • At 12.47 a call is received from a patient recently discharged from hospital after a hip operation and now in very bad pain.
    • He visited his doctor who sent him home and when he phoned later that afternoon his chest pains were still bad so an ambulance was called.
  • 5 (rotten)
    to go bad
    Example sentences
    • You can't get much sleep; and the kids are throwing up because the food is bad.
    • The stray dogs may be hungrier, but I don't think they ever ate that bad rice.
    • Many feared that if the food went bad and somebody became ill that they would be liable and could be sued.
  • 6 (afflicted) she's got a bad leg
    está mal de la pierna
    this is my bad leg
    esta es mi pierna mala
    I've got a bad tooth
    tengo un diente cariado/una muela cariada
    how are you? — not so bad! [colloquial]
    ¿qué tal estás? — aquí ando, tirando [colloquial]
    to be in a bad way [colloquial]
    estar fatal [colloquial]
  • 7 (sorry) to feel bad about somethingI feel bad about not having written to her
    me da no sé qué no haberle escrito
    it's not your fault; there's no need to feel bad about it
    no es culpa tuya, no tienes por qué preocuparte
  • 8 (Finance)
    sin fondos
    Example sentences
    • He relies on the telephone and on an eye trained by expensive experience to ferret out bad checks.
    • The geeks will not inherit the earth: They spend too much time watching movies and checking for bad physics.
    • One of my earlier cases was investigating a bad cheque that had been passed at a local merchant.


  • 1 uncountableall the bad that he's done
    todo el mal que ha hecho
    there's good and bad in everybody
    todos tenemos cosas buenas y malas
    you have to learn to take the bad with the good
    hay que aprender a aceptar lo bueno y lo malo
    hay que aprender a aceptar las cosas como vienen
    she always looks for the bad in any situation
    siempre ve el lado malo de todo
    to go to the bad
  • 2to the bad (Finance)
    en números rojos
  • 3 (people) the bad (+ plural verb)
    los malos


  • (esp US) [colloquial]to need something real bad
    necesitar algo desesperadamente
    if you want it bad enough
    si de verdad lo quieres
    he's been hurt bad
    le han hecho mucho daño
    she's got it bad for him
    se derrite por él [colloquial]
    Example sentences
    • I tell you, if we start to win again, I want to beat them real bad this time.
    • No matter how bad I threw the ball, it was still going to knock down at least one pin.
    • It would be disrespectful of me to talk bad of her on a forum that everybody can read.
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