American English

Definition of bad adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , worst
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  1. 1unpleasant; 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. 2of 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. 3bad 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. 4serious; 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.
  10. wicked
  11. 6morally unacceptable The hero gets to shoot all the bad guys. He said I must have done something bad to deserve it.
  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.
  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.
  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 sick I'm afraid I'm feeling pretty bad.
  26. excellent
  27. 14(badder, baddest) (slang) good; excellent
  28. Vocabulary Buildingbad and very bad Instead 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 sick/terrible I don’t feel (very) good. In conversation, words like terrible, horrible, and awful can be used in most situations to mean “very bad.”Idioms
    can't be bad (informal)
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    used to try to persuade someone to agree that something is good You'll save fifty dollars, which can't be bad, can it?
    have got it bad (informal) (humorous)
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    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!
    not bad (informal)
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    quite good; better than you expected “How are you?” “Not too bad.” That wasn't bad for a first attempt.
    too bad (informal)
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    a shame; unfortunately Too bad every day can't be as good as this.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: bad