Meaning of “bad” in the English Dictionary

"bad" in English

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uk /bæd/ us /bæd/

bad adjective (UNPLEASANT)

A1 worse, worst unpleasant and causing difficulties or harm:

Our holiday was spoiled by bad weather.
We've just had some very bad news.
I had a very bad night (= did not sleep well) last night.
Watch out - he's in a bad mood (= being unpleasant to everyone).
She's just a bad loser (= she is unpleasant when she loses).
The company has been getting a lot of bad publicity (= negative things have been written or said about it) recently.
The lines were so bad (= unpleasantly long) that I didn't bother waiting.
The company's financial situation is looking pretty bad at the moment.
The damage caused by the storm was nowhere near as/nothing like as bad (= not as serious) as we'd feared it might be.
Breathing in other people's cigarette smoke is bad for you (= has a harmful effect on your health).
This is a bad (= not convenient or suitable) time for me to talk. Can I call you back later?
not (too) bad A2 informal

fairly good or satisfactory:

"How are things?" "Not too bad, thanks."
not bad informal

very good:

He was best in his age group - not bad, eh?
feel bad

B1 to feel ashamed and sorry:

Knowing that I hurt her makes me feel really bad.
I feel bad about letting them down.
go from bad to worse

If a situation goes from bad to worse, it was difficult and unpleasant, and is becoming even more so:

Things have gone from bad to worse.

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bad adjective (LOW QUALITY)

A2 worse, worst of low quality, or not acceptable:

The plumber did a bad job on the repairs.
Are the company's current difficulties a result of bad (= harmful) luck or bad (= of low quality) judgment?
He has some very bad habits.
In some parts of the world, it is considered bad manners to pick up food with the left hand.
He was sent home from school for bad behaviour.
That remark was in pretty bad taste, wasn't it?
I'm very bad at cooking (= cannot do it very well).

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bad adjective (EVIL)

B1 worse, worst (of people or actions) evil or morally unacceptable:

There are a lot of bad people in the world.
He has his faults but he's not a bad person.

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noun [ U ] uk /ˈbæd.nəs/ us /ˈbæd.nəs/

the quality of being evil or morally unacceptable:

There is goodness and badness in everyone.


uk /bæd/ us /bæd/ US

badnoun [ U ]

uk /bæd/ us /bæd/

(Definition of “bad” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"bad" in American English

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us /bæd/ comparative worse /wɜrs/ , superlative worst /wɜrst/

bad adjective (UNPLEASANT)

not good; disappointing or unpleasant, or causing difficulties or harm:

We heard the bad news about Dorothy’s illness.
Flights were delayed because of bad weather.
Too much salt is bad for you (= has a harmful effect on your health).

Bad can also mean serious or severe:

bad adjective (LOW QUALITY)

of very low quality; not acceptable:

We thought the hotel was bad and the food was terrible.
That was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.

bad adjective (EVIL)

(of people or actions) evil or morally unacceptable:

He’s not a bad person.

bad adjective (UNHEALTHY)

(of a person) ill or not well, or (of an illness) serious or severe:

a bad back/heart
a bad cough
bad health
He’s in really bad shape.
He’s got bad arthritis and can hardly walk.


(Definition of “bad” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"bad" in Business English

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uk /bæd/ us FINANCE
to the bad

if you are a particular amount of money to the bad, you have lost or owe that amount:

The bank has a positive deficiency of €376,900 with a possibility of its being over half a million to the bad.

(Definition of “bad” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Blogs about "bad"

by Kate Woodford,