Definition of bad adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//bæd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//bæd//
    BrE BrE//wɜːs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//wɜːrs//
    , worst
    BrE BrE//wɜːst//
    ; NAmE NAmE//wɜːrst//
    Immoral, Poor health, Anger, Being ill
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  1. 1  unpleasant; full of problems bad news/weather/dreams/habits I'm having a really bad day. It was the worst experience of her life. Smoking gives you bad breath. Things are bad enough without our own guns shelling us.
  2. poor quality
  3. 2  of poor quality; below an acceptable standard bad conditions/driving a bad copy/diet I thought it was a very bad article. This isn't as bad as I thought. That's not a bad idea.
  4. not good at something
  5. 3  bad at something/at doing something (of a person) not able to do something well or in an acceptable way synonym poor a bad teacher You're a bad liar! He's a bad loser (= he complains when he loses a game). She is so bad at keeping secrets.
  6. serious
  7. 4  serious; severe You're heading for a bad attack of sunburn. The engagement was a bad mistake. My headache is getting worse.
  8. not appropriate
  9. 5  [only before noun] not appropriate in a particular situation I know that this is a bad time to ask for help. He now realized that it had been a bad decision on his part.
  10. wicked
  11. 6  morally unacceptable The hero gets to shoot all the bad guys. He said I must have done something bad to deserve it. See related entries: Immoral
  12. children
  13. 7  [usually before noun] (especially of children) not behaving well synonym naughty Have you been a bad boy?
  14. harmful
  15. 8  [not before noun] bad for somebody/something harmful; causing or likely to cause damage Those shoes are bad for her feet. Weather like this is bad for business. Too much work is bad for your health.
  16. painful
  17. 9[usually before noun] (of parts of the body) not healthy; painful I've got a bad back. See related entries: Poor health
  18. food
  19. 10not safe to eat because it has decayed Put the meat in the fridge so it doesn't go bad.
  20. temper/mood
  21. 11bad temper/mood the state of feeling annoyed or angry It put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. See related entries: Anger
  22. guilty/sorry
  23. 12feel bad to feel guilty or sorry about something She felt bad about leaving him. Why should I want to make you feel bad?
  24. ill/sick
  25. 13feel/look bad to feel or look ill/sick I'm afraid I'm feeling pretty bad. Vocabulary BuildingBad and very badInstead of saying that something is bad or very bad, try to use more precise and interesting adjectives to describe things: an unpleasant/a foul/a disgusting smell appalling/dreadful/severe weather an unpleasant/a frightening/a traumatic experience poor/weak eyesight a terrible/serious/horrific accident a wicked/an evil/an immoral person an awkward/an embarrassing/a difficult situation We were working in difficult/appalling conditions.To refer to your health, you can say:I feel unwell/sick/terrible. I don’t feel (very) well.In conversation, words like terrible, horrible, awful and dreadful can be used in most situations to mean ‘very bad’. See related entries: Being ill
  26. excellent
  27. 14(badder, baddest) (slang, especially North American English) good; excellent
  28. Word OriginMiddle English: perhaps from Old English bǣddel ‘hermaphrodite, womanish man’.Extra examples He is particularly bad at remembering names. He’s really bad at languages. I feel bad enough without you constantly telling me how it was all my fault! I saw him yesterday, and he wasn’t looking half bad. Jim was a notoriously bad driver. John’s in a pretty bad mood this morning. She felt pretty bad about leaving him. Smoking is very bad for you. The problem is equally bad in many other countries. The sausages tasted bad. The service was laughably bad. The weather got very bad later in the day. This meat has gone bad. Watching television is not inherently bad for children. All those sugary drinks are bad for your teeth. Bad diet and lack of exercise can lead to serious health problems. Eating too much salt is bad for you. He realized it had been a bad decision. He’s a bad loser. I think it was probably a bad time to ask him. I was always the ‘bad boy’ at school. I was forced to turn back due to bad weather. I will not tolerate this bad behaviour. I would be a really bad teacher—I’ve no patience. I’d rather not drive in such bad conditions. I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news. I’m having a really bad day. I’ve got a bad back. Inspectors are looking into the problem of bad prison conditions. It was a very bad winter that year. It’s bad for you to eat too much salt. Most of the complaints received were about bad language. On the last day the weather turned bad. Sunbeds have received a lot of bad publicity in recent years. Are they safe? That girl’s a bad influence on Tom. That’s not a bad idea. The meat had gone bad. The picnic was cancelled due to bad weather. The situation couldn’t get any worse. There was a smell of bad eggs. Things were bad enough without her interfering. This isn’t as bad as I thought. You’re heading for a bad case of sunburn.Idioms Most idioms containing bad are at the entries for the nouns and verbs in the idioms, for example be bad news (for somebody/something) is at news.  (informal) used to try to persuade somebody to agree that something is good You'll save fifty dollars, which can't be bad, can it? (informal, humorous) to be very much in love You're not seeing him again tonight, are you? That's five times this week—you've got it bad! See related entries: Love  (informal) quite good; better than you expected ‘How are you?’ ‘Not too bad.’ That wasn't bad for a first attempt.
    1. 1  (ironic) used to say ‘bad luck’ or ‘it’s a shame’ when you do not really mean it If sometimes they're the wrong decisions, too bad.
    2. 2  a shame; a pity Too bad every day can't be as good as this.
    3. 3(old-fashioned) annoying Really, it was too bad of you to be so late.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: bad