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Bad news

an annoying, disturbing, unwelcome thing or person; nuisance; troublemaker.
Contemporary Examples

This month, the number was 49.6 percent—bad news, and below 50 yet again.
Slowdown: What’s Wrong With the Real Economy? Alex Klein September 3, 2012

It was clear enough to every American that Hitler and Tojo were bad news, and that was that.
Is Obama Going to War Just to ‘Check the Box’? Lloyd Green August 30, 2013

For the Republican Party, Tuesday’s primaries contain good news and bad news.
The GOP Is Blowing It Peter Beinart June 8, 2010

Terrorism is bad news anywhere, but especially rough on Odessa, where the city motto seems to be “make love, not war.”
Is Putin Turning to Terrorism in Ukraine? Anna Nemtsova January 5, 2015

As the broadcast networks decide on their new schedules, some people get good news, and some get bad news.
Shawn Ryan: “I Don’t Want to Be a Dinosaur” Maria Elena Fernandez May 10, 2011

Historical Examples

Madame has had bad news, said Monmouth and looked at her anxiously.
Anthony Trent, Master Criminal Wyndham Martyn

You didn’t on the dock, you know, when you got the bad news.
The Lightning Conductor Discovers America C. N. (Charles Norris) Williamson and A. M. (Alice Muriel) Williamson

“Mr. Pratt brings us bad news,” the Marquis intervened suavely.
Jacob’s Ladder E. Phillips Oppenheim

“You have received some bad news, I am afraid,” said Coleman.
Frank Fairlegh Frank E. Smedley

This movement had been, moreover, determined by the bad news arriving from other parts of Paris.
Paris under the Commune John Leighton

(slang) someone or something regarded as undesirable: he’s bad news around here

noun phrase

The bill for goods or services, esp a restaurant check; beef (1920s+)
Any unfortunate or regrettable situation or event: That meeting was strictly bad news (1930s+)
An ominous person; a menace: Their big new linebacker is bad news (1960s+)
An unpleasant or depressing person, esp a persistently annoying one: Isn’t she bad news since her old man left her?

[1970s+; all senses extended from the literal]
An unwelcome thing or person, trouble. For example, That fire was bad news; we were underinsured for the damage, or No one wants Mary on the board—she’s bad news. This term transfers literal bad news—the report of an unhappy recent event—to an unwanted or undesirable individual or circumstance. [ ; 1920s ]
The amount charged for something, as in Waiter, bring our check—I want to see the bad news. [ ; 1920s ]


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  • Bad off

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  • Bad paper

    a less-than-honorable discharge from military service. Historical Examples Learn how to make that infernal note-book perfectly all right in spite of the bad paper. Rough-Hewn Dorothy Canfield One of these is the prevalence of bad paper, overladen with clay and with Modern methods. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Slice 2 Various noun phrase Worthless […]

  • Bad patch

    noun a period of poor luck Examples Their marriage has hit a bad patch. Historical Examples Giving up the bad patch as hopeless, I would go on and, after I had left it behind, discover the dynamite capable of blasting it. The Life of the Fly J. Henri Fabre It was just a bad patch, […]

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