American English

Definition of worse adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1(comparative of bad)
  2. 2of poorer quality or lower standard; less good or more unpleasant The rooms were awful and the food was worse. The weather got worse during the day. I've been to far worse places. worse than something The interview was much worse than he had expected. worse than doing something There's nothing worse than going out in the cold with wet hair.
  3. 3worse (than something/doing something) more serious or severe They were trying to prevent an even worse tragedy. The crisis was getting worse and worse. Don't tell her that — you'll only make things worse. Never mind — it could be worse (= although the situation is bad, it is not as bad as it might have been).
  4. 4[not before noun] more sick or unhappy If he gets any worse we'll call the doctor. He told her she'd let them down and she felt worse than ever.
  5. Idioms
    somebody's bark is worse than their bite (informal)
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    used to say that someone is not really as angry or as aggressive as they sound
    come off worse
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    to lose a fight, competition, etc. or suffer more compared with others
    a fate worse than death (often humorous)
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    a terrible thing that could happen At the last minute the hero saves her from a fate worse than death.
    go from bad to worse
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    (of a bad condition, situation, etc.) to get even worse
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: worse