badly Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “badly” in the English Dictionary

"badly" in British English

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badlyadverb

uk   us   /ˈbæd.li/ (worse, worst)
  • badly adverb (UNPLEASANTLY)

A2 in a ​severe and ​harmful way: She was badly ​affected by the ​events in her ​childhood. Fortunately, none of the ​passengers was badly hurt/​injured in the ​crash. I ​thought he was treated very badly.

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  • badly adverb (IN A BAD WAY)

A2 in a way that is not ​acceptable or of good ​quality: The ​event was really badly ​organized. I ​thought he ​behaved very badly. Their ​children are ​extremely badlybehaved.

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  • badly adverb (VERY MUCH)

A2 very much: He ​needs the ​money really badly. They are badly in need ofhelp.
(Definition of badly from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"badly" in American English

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badlyadverb

 us   /ˈbæd·li/
  • badly adverb (MUCH)

[not gradable] (not standard bad,  /bæd/ ) much or very much: The UN ​sent 90 ​tons of badly ​neededfood. Texas ​wants very badly to be ​consideredtops in the ​schoolsystem.
  • badly adverb (IN UNACCEPTABLE WAY)

[not gradable] (comparative worse  /wɜrs/ , superlative worst  /wɜrst/ ) (not standard bad) in a way that is not ​acceptable: The ​event was badly ​organized. He ​behaved badly.
  • badly adverb (SEVERELY)

(comparative worse  /wɜrs/ , superlative worst  /wɜrst/ ) (not standard bad) in an ​extreme way; seriously or ​severely: His ​face was badly ​bruised and ​swollen after the ​accident. He took the ​news of his sister’s ​death badly.
(Definition of badly from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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