badly Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “badly” in the English Dictionary

"badly" in British English

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badlyadverb

uk   /ˈbæd.li/  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 (VERY MUCH)

A2 very much: He needs the money really badly. They are badly in need of help.
(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 needed food. Texas wants very badly to be considered tops in the school system.
  • 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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